The Mayor & Board of Aldermen recently passed Ordinance No. 09-2014 which made significant changes to the regulations pertaining to Right of Way Encroachments which were previously regulated as “Street Opening Permits.”

The following are some of the highlights regarding changes to the regulations.
An "Encroach or Encroachment" means constructing or placing temporary or permanent structures, improvements, facilities or materials in, on, over, or under any public right-of-way or using any right-of-way so as to prevent, obstruct, or interfere with the normal use of that way, including but not limited to the performance of

  1. Excavating or disturbing the public right-of-way;

     2. Erecting or maintaining any post, sign, pole, fence, scaffolding, guard-rail, wall, pipe, conduit, well casing, cable, wire, communication service equipment, or other facility or structure, whether permanent or temporary, on, over, or under a public right-of-way;

     3. Planting any tree, shrub, grass, or other growing thing, whether permanent or temporary within the public right-of-way;

     4. Placing or leaving on the public right-of-way any rubbish, brush, earth, or material;

     5. Constructing, placing, or maintaining on, over, under, or within a public right-of-way, whether permanent or temporary, any pathway, sidewalk, driveway, or other surfacing; any culvert or other surface drainage or subsurface drainage facility; or any pipe, conduit, cable, well casing wire, communication service equipment or facility, or TV cable weather is satelital or not;

     6. Constructing, placing, planting, or maintaining any structure, embankment, excavation, tree, or other object, whether permanent or temporary, adjacent to the public right-of-way which causes or may cause an encroachment.

Any “Encroachment” requires a “Right of Way Encroachment Permit” similar to what we used to issue for what was previously referred to as “Street/Road Opening Permits.”

Probably more significant is the inclusion in the regulations of a “Prohibition Period” on recently paved/resurfaced streets. Permission to excavate in prohibition streets will not be granted for five (5) years after the completion of street overlays. As stated in the “Purpose” section of the Ordinance:

The public right-of-way is a unique public resource held in trust for the benefit of the public. This physically limited resource requires proper management to maximize its efficiency and minimize the costs to taxpayers, to protect the capital investment made by the Town of Dover in the public right-of-way, and to minimize the inconvenience to and negative effects on the public from use of the public right-of-way by contractors and utility companies.

To achieve the purpose of this chapter, the Town of Dover shall endeavor to coordinate its Capital Improvement Programs with those of utility companies and franchisees with facilities in, on, under or above the public right-of-way. Information about any planned work in the right-of-way shall be shared at the earliest possible time. Utility owners and franchisees are encouraged to coordinate their street encroachments so that all work is done simultaneously with the Town of Dover and/or other Utilities.

Please click on the below documents for further information, and please remember some of our documents are still in the process of spanish translation, but some are official documents that requires a legal process to be translated, if you need help our employees are available Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm to assist you.

The only exceptions to the “prohibition” are:
  1. Emergencies that endanger life or property. 
  2. Interruption of essential utility service. 
  3. Work that is mandated by local, state, or federal law. 

The Ordinance details the procedures to be used in the event of one of the above events.

CLICK HERE for Ordinance 09-2014

CLICK HERE for the new “Right of Way Encroachment Permit” Application Form

CLICK HERE for the new “Town of Dover Right of Way Encroachment Permit Agreement” with associated Specifications and Required Inspections

CLICK HERE for the new “Right of Way Encroachment Permit” Fill-in Drawings

CLICK HERE for the current listing of "Prohibition Streets" (Updated 04/18/2023)