Street Encroachment

An Encroachment Agreement is required for any project that intrudes or encroaches upon, above, or under public streets, terraces, alleys or other public grounds. This insures that the private project will not interfere with public safety and/or public use and is in accordance with MGO 10.31 and Wis. Stats. 66.0425. To obtain an Encroachment Agreement, a Privilege in Streets application must be submitted, reviewed, and approved. Once the Privilege in Streets application has been approved for the proposed project, an Encroachment Agreement will be drafted and sent to the applicant for signature.

Some examples are:

  • Building structures
  • Underground Vaults
  • Permanent canopies
  • Fencing
  • Monitoring wells
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Telecommunication links / Fiber Optic Cable
  • Retaining walls
  • Landscaping
  • Parking Lots
  • Moped Parking Areas

To save time, you can apply for your other permits (if applicable) at the same time you apply for an Encroachment Agreement. It takes about two to four weeks for an Encroachment Agreement to be reviewed and approved.


Fill out the application appropriate to your situation:

Process Overview

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

    Where to go:

    Office of Real Estate Services
    30 W. Mifflin St., 5th Floor, Suite 502
    Madison, WI 53703
    Hours: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday

  2. Apply for Privilege

    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. Privilege Review

    City staff advisors approve, modify or deny 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 original signed Agreement is returned by the applicant via mail or hand-delivery, 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 and shall run with the land in perpetuity. 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