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Processing Encroachment Permits

Processing Encroachment Permits

The City of Fullerton Public Works Department Engineering Division is available to assist you with your encroachment permit application. The permits are required for most types of work within the public right-of-way. Right-of-way typically include streets, parks, and easements for City sewer, water and storm drains. The following information may answer many of the questions you might have regarding the process.

The City requires an encroachment permit to ensure that any improvements or repairs within the public right of way:
  • Are built to minimum standards that are both structurally sound and have an appearance of quality workmanship
  • Ensure the integrity of existing utilities
  • Protect the public from hazardous construction conditions
  • Ensure that existing underground utilities are protected.

PLEASE NOTE: Street rights-of-way typically include the sidewalk in the parkway behind the curb. Even when there is no sidewalk, the street right-of-way usually extends behind the curb. When in doubt check with the Public Works Department Engineering Division for the exact extent of the City's right of way or easements. Permits may be obtained by coming to the Public Works Department Engineering Division counter located on the second floor of Fullerton City Hall. A permit may be issued to a property owner (owner/builder) or a contractor. Whoever applies for the permit will ultimately be responsible for guaranteeing completion of any work started. Contractors who apply for the permits must have a valid City of Fullerton business License. If the property owner applies for the permit, no City business license will be required.


Permit fees are based on the type and amount of work involved. Additionally a cash deposit may be required to guarantee completion of the work, protection and/or repair of existing facilities, or to enforce compliance with restricted work hours. The cash deposit is fully refundable upon successful compliance with the terms of the permit.


  • Street Occupancy - for vehicles such as cranes that would occupy the travel lane or sidewalk portions of the street. A permit is needed and a deposit is required to repair any damage caused by the vehicle or the operation performed, or to comply with work hours if so restricted.
  • Haul Routes - for large scale excavating projects (five or more truck trips). A permit is required to ensure the clean up of any materials spilled along the haul route. Also the haul route is reviewed for height and weight restrictions.
  • Water lines, meters and appurtenances require a separate permit from the department's Water System Management division. Please refer to the pamphlet titled "Water Service" for more information.
  • Parkway - Please contact Public Works Engineering Department for your Free Parkway Encroachment Permit at 714-738-6849. The items covered in the permit are the following:
    - Call Underground Service Alert at 1-800-227-2600 at least 2 working days in advance of any excavation.
    - Water meters and other utility pull boxes and vaults shall be accessible at all times.
    - No raised planters or obstructions.
    - No dangerous or poisonous plants.
    - Plants and shrubs must be maintained and no higher than 30 inches
    - Do not plant, alter or remove City trees without approval from Fullerton
    - Choose California Native, succulents and drought tolerant ground covers plant species.
    - Retrofit parkway irrigation from standard spray heads to low volume drip emitters.
    - Encourage use of mulch to improve moisture retention and weed suppression.
    - Condition soil with organic amendments to improve water percolation, moister retention and to minimize water runoff.
    - Consider the health and well-being of the parkway tree when re-landscaping a parkway.
    - Never raise the soil level next to the base of tree but do create a water basin several feet away from the trunk flare to contain water for deep percolation.    


For all permits involving excavation, it is required that Underground Service Alert (USA) be contacted a minimum of 48 hours (two working days) prior to excavation. All work shall be done in accordance with City standards (which may be obtained at the Engineering counter) and in compliance with the "Green Book." It is advisable that the applicant arrange a preconstruction meeting with an Engineering inspector prior to commencing work. The inspector will be glad to review the standards and help with any questions you or your contractor may have. These meetings may be arranged by calling the phone number listed on the permit at least 24 hours in advance.


A final inspection will have to be conducted once the work has been completed. When the final inspection is complete, please bring the signed permit back to the Public Works Department Engineering Division counter and request a refund of any deposits that may have been posted with the permit. You will need to allow two to three weeks for the City to process any refunds. If you have any questions or would like further information, please call or visit the: Public Works Department.




City of Fullerton
Public Works Engineering
Fullerton City Hall - 2nd Floor
303 W. Commonwealth Avenue | Fullerton, Ca 92832
(714) 738.6845