How Right-of-Way Enforcement Supports the Community
Right-of-Way Enforcement protects the travelling public and improves the safety, quality and useful life of public infrastructure within the rights-of-way of the Municipality of Anchorage.
- Interpret, apply and enforce Anchorage Municipal Code Title 24, Streets & Rights-of-Way, and eight other municipal codes.
Review construction plans for compliance with laws, codes and regulations and issue right-of-way permits.
- Inspect construction projects within municipal rights of way.
- Investigate and resolve complaints of unsafe or illegal uses of the rights-of-way.
- Provide critical support for community events such as Fur Rendezvous and Iditarod.
What is a Right-of-Way (Public Place)?
The Right-of-Way, (also known as a “public place"), is a dedicated strip of land intended for the accommodation of traffic movements, utilities, drainage, and other similar public uses. During the winter season, the right-of-way behind the roadway is reserved for snow storage to expedite snow removal. This area may extend seven feet or more beyond the road edge. Landscaping in these areas is limited to topsoil and seeding only.
Definition of a Right-of-Way (Public Place)
Public place means and includes streets, avenues, ways, boulevards, drives, circles, courts, places, alleys, sidewalks, and planting strips, bicycle paths, squares, triangles, easements and rights-of-way reserved, granted or dedicated for the use of the public, and the space above or beneath the surface of such places, except parks. For purposes of this title, "public place" shall not include telecommunications, electrical, gas, telephone or other easements granting rights only to utilities.
Applications for right-of-way permits must be accompanied by construction or site plans, Traffic Control Plans, if applicable and sent to the Right-of-Way Permit Section for approval and permit issued before any work can be started. The plans must clearly show the scope of work, and that all work will be performed according to municipal standards and specifications.
The basic minimum permit fee is $135, plus the applicable lane closure fee. This monthly fee is based on the square footage of the right-of-way used. The rates are $0.75/square foot/month for improved public place and $0.50/square foot/month outside improved public place. The fees are calculated by the issuing agency, and payable prior to the applicant is issued the rental permit.
Right-of-Way Encroachment Permit
If your fence, hard landscaping, or retaining wall is located in the right-of-way it needs to be removed. This facilitates use by utilities, snow storage, and safety of our maintenance teams. If these encroachments are required for engineering reasons including but not limited to slope retention, you need to apply for a Right-of-Way Encroachment Permit for it to legally remain. You may submit an application and site plan showing the type of encroachments and the location of the encroachments to the Development Services Department, Right-of-Way Section located at 4700 Elmore Road. The application may also be submitted online at email address: MOAROWRequests@muni.org
Applications for encroachments deemed to be safety hazards will not be accepted.
There is a $120 non-refundable application fee for any permitted encroachments in the right-of-way. The permit shall be valid from the date of issuance and expires upon transfer to the new owner or removal of the encroachment(s).
By requiring a permit for all items in the right-of-way, we ensure the project plan is reviewed. During the review we make sure there are no sight obstruction hazards for drivers, no rocks, flower bed timbers, retaining walls or other obstacles which could be hidden by snow and struck by snow removal equipment. These encroachments can cause injury to people and damage to equipment, and the property owner can be held responsible for these damages. If we discover an obstruction and determine there is no permit on file, we will require the responsible individual(s) to either remove the obstruction or apply for an encroachment permit.
Sidewalk Encroachment Permit (Central Business District Only)
It is the policy of the Municipality to provide an Annual Sidewalk Right of Way Encroachment Permit for placing customer advertising or direction signs, tables, chairs, benches, flower boxes, trash receptacles and similar customer amenities and decorative items on sidewalks in the Central Business Zoning Districts B-2A and B-2B.
The basic annual permit fee is $105. The fees are calculated and payable at the time the applicant is issued the encroachment permit. The permit is valid only for the current year and expires December 31.
Restrictions for a sidewalk encroachment can be found in Anchorage Municipal Code, click here
Applicants for this type permit must submit a completed Sidewalk Encroachment Permit Application, a sketch accurately showing the location of the sign and/or appurtenance(s), and a certificate of insurance acceptable to Municipal Risk Management in the amount of $300,000 Compensation/General Liability. The applicant can email the completed application package to MOAROWrequests@muni.org
, deliver it to ROW Permit Section, or mail it. All addresses are found on the top right corner of the application. Sidewalk encroachment permits for signs and appurtenances must be displayed in the window of the business.
Complaints of Illegal Uses of the Rights-of-Way
Complaints of illegal uses of the Municipal Rights-of-Way, or any other code complaint, may be entered 24 hours a day/365 days a year at
www.muni.org. Select #ANCWORKS! and follow the prompts. Complaints will be immediately and automatically routed to the appropriate Right-of-Way/Code Enforcement Officer.