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City of Madison Development Services Center
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Street Encroachment: Land Development

Contact: Email Office of Real Estate Services Phone Number (608) 266-4222

If your proposed project intrudes on, above, or under public streets, alley or other public grounds, a street encroachment agreement is necessary. This insures that the private project will not interfere with public safety and is in accordance with MGO 10.31 and Wis. Stats. 66.0425.

Some examples are:

  • Building structures
  • Permanent canopies
  • Fencing
  • Monitoring wells
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Telecommunication links
  • Retaining walls
  • Landscaping

To save time, you can apply for your other permits at the same time you apply for a Street Encroachment Agreement. It takes about 2-4 weeks for a Street Encroachment Agreement to be reviewed and approved.


  1. Obtain an application for Privilege in Streets from the Economic Development Division

    Where to go:
    Office of Real Estate Services
    Madison Municipal Building
    215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 312
    Madison, WI 53703
    Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

  2. Apply for Permit

    What to Include:
    • the non-refundable application fee of $750
    • a completed application form
    • depiction of the structure design with dimensions or square footage, as well as a legible site plan or survey showing the location of the proposed encroaching structure(s). Application items can be mailed or emailed in PDF format.

  3. Permit Review

    The Privilege in Streets Committee approves, modifies or denies the application. If approved, City staff drafts a recordable agreement which includes requirements for an annual fee, insurance and a 10-day notice of removal of the encroachment. The agreement is reviewed by the City Attorney’s staff.

  4. Completion

    If approved by city staff advisors, the Office of Real Estate Services will draft the Encroachment Agreement that sets forth the requirements of the privilege, and either mail or email the document to the applicant for signature. After the signed Agreement is returned by the applicant, it will be circulated for signature by City staff.

    The signed Encroachment Agreement will be sent for recording with the Dane County Register of Deeds. After the recorded original is returned to the real estate office, a copy will be sent to the applicant.

    The Economic Development Division will monitor insurance and annual fee requirements until such time the Agreement is ever terminated.

    Once your encroachment is approved, you will still need to get the necessary permits to construct your project and comply with all applicable Madison General Ordinances.

Related Forms & Handouts

Have Questions?

Contact Office of Real Estate Services - (608) 266-4222