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TRN-8.08 - Encroachments in the Public Right-of-Way

Administrative Rules Adopted by City Council (ARC)
Policy category
Policy number

I.  Background

This rule and document encompass a multi-year effort with significant public outreach and involvement to document Portland Bureau of Transportations policies related to private encroachments into the public right of way. The Portland Bureau of Transportation may allow for a private encroachment into the public right-of-way under certain conditions by approving an encroachment permit. Encroachment permits are revocable and considered temporary. (Encroachments must be removed from the public right-of-way upon notice by the City Engineer.)

II.  Rule

See full text of policy

III.  General Requirements

Revocable encroachment permits are issued to the abutting property and run with the land. The revocable encroachment permit may also be issued, with the abutting property owner’s consent, to a business association, a neighborhood association, a district coalition, a non-profit organization, or a government agency. Reference Chapter 17.44.010.B. Exceptions to the consent requirement will be made when the applicant is able to demonstrate underlying fee ownership of the right-of-way where the encroachment is to be placed. The City Engineer will evaluate the acceptability of encroachments based on adopted policy and regulations, safety, right-of-way usage, management and operations, and legal issues. The City Engineer may deny a permit, revoke a permit, or require removal of an encroachment at any time, unless otherwise specified in Title 14 or Title 29 of City Code, based on their evaluation. Unless otherwise specified in City Code or in the permit, the party responsible for maintenance of the right-of-way as specified in Chapter 17.28.020 shall remove the encroachment from the right-of-way upon notice by the City Engineer, with no liability and at no cost to the City.

Encroachments, including landscaping, planter boxes, and electric vehicle cord covers must not become nuisances. Failure to maintain an encroachment or failure to repair or replace any portion of an encroachment immediately upon notification from City, shall be cause for the City to declare the encroachment a nuisance. The City may summarily abate the nuisance, initiate proceedings through the Code Hearings Officer, file civil suit, or take any other action necessary to ensure the permittee, transferee, or assignee performs the required repairs to the public right-of-way.

IV:  Reference

Pursuant to Rulemaking Authority under 3.12.

Title 17.24.005 Jurisdiction and Management of Public Right-of-Way


Ordinance No. 186519, passed by City Council April 2, 2014 and effective May 2, 2014.

Amended by the Director of Transportation December 9, 2021.

Amended by the Director of Transportation October 30, 2023.

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