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Construction Considerations
Public Ways and Property

A permit is required for all of the following activities related to public ways and property:

  • To excavate for and build, or cause to be excavated for and built, a cellar, vault, coal bin or other room under a sidewalk or street in front of his store or place of business.
  • To excavate or cause to be excavated a cellar, cistern, well, hole or other depression, on or so near the line of a street, sidewalk, alley or other public ground within the city, as to endanger the public use thereof, or of life or limb of persons passing there over.
  • To excavate for or build, or cause to be excavated for or built, a passageway, trench, drain or sewer, within, along or near such street, sidewalk, alley, park or other public grounds.
  • To erect, construct, place or maintain, or cause to be erected, constructed, placed or maintained any telephone, telegraph or electric light pole or poles, or any scaffold, platform, bay window, awning or other extension of a building, or any billboard, sign, illuminated signboard or other advertising device, any rope, wire or chain within or over any street, alley, sidewalk, park or other public ground within the city.
  • To build any stairway or entrance from a sidewalk or street into a basement or cellar adjoining or within any street, park or other public ground within the city.
  • To build or cause to be built, or suffer to exist, any area, hole or opening within any sidewalk space.
  • To remove or cause to be removed any building upon, within, along, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, park or other public ground within the city.
  • To build or repair any building next to and adjoining any street, sidewalk, or alley where material may be placed or work performed within such street or sidewalk.
  • To use any street, sidewalk, park or other public ground for the deposit of building materials, or the doing of any work or labor within the same, in the moving, taking down, raising, erection and construction of any building.
  • To break, dig up, remove or in any way displace, or cause to be broken, dug up, removed or in any way displaced, any pavement, macadam, gravel or earth within any street, sidewalk, alley, park or other public grounds, which might otherwise be lawfully done.
  • To remove any trees along any street or sidewalk. 
  • To alter or change, or cause to be altered or changed, the grade of any street, sidewalk, alley, park or other public grounds within the city.
  • To interfere with, break down or remove, or cause to be interfered with, broken down or removed, any guard protection, barrier or barricade placed in any street, sidewalk, alley or other public ground as a protection of the city against damages to the traveling public against injury, or any work or improvement against damages.
  • To keep or leave open any cellar door or grating of any vault in any street or sidewalk, or to allow the same to be left open, nor shall any excavation adjacent to any street or sidewalk be left open.
  • To place in or over any gutter any material or object of any nature which shall or may obstruct the flow of water therein.
  • To propel any cart or vehicle, pushed or pulled by hand, on any sidewalk in the city, except carriages, carts and sleighs for small children and single passenger handicapped vehicles occupied by a handicapped person.

Applying for a Permit

A written application is required for a permit. This application must be signed by the applicant or his/her duly authorized agent, and must include:

  • Name and place of residence.
  • Purpose of the work which such permit is desired.
  • The period of time to being and complete the work.
  • The location.

Additionally, the applicant must:

  • Make an agreement on his/her part that in case a permit is granted he/she will conform to and comply with all ordinances, rules and regulations of the city pertaining to the work or purpose for which a permit is asked, and that he/she will pay all damages caused by him/her, his/her agents, employee, or servants in the doing or execution of the work for which the permit may be granted and he/she will keep and save the city free and harmless of any damages or claims against by reason of failure, fault or neglect by anyone.
  • Satisfy the board that he/she is financially able to pay any damages or claims to which he/she may become liable under such agreement or that he will file with the city clerk a sufficient bond for such purpose approved by the mayor in writing before the permit is issued.

Permit Restrictions

No permit shall be issued, except on the vote and the direction of the board of public works upon the application hereinbefore provided for and on the terms and conditions by such vote fixed, and when so voted and directed, it shall be issued by the clerk.

The following are requirements:

  • Signature, the date of issue, the name and address of the person to whom issued and the work or purpose for which issued, the time within which the work is to be completed and the date on which the permit will expire, and such further terms and conditions as the board or council may have fixed in case such permit is granted subordinate to all the ordinances, rules and regulations of the city relative to the subject of such permit, and one such duplicate original shall be delivered to the applicant or his agent, and one, attached to the application, shall be kept on file by the city clerk; provided, however, that all permits issued by said board are subject to the review of the common council.
  • Every person to whom a permit shall be granted to build, repair or remove any building, or to use any street or sidewalk for the deposit of building materials, shall enclose or cause to be enclosed on all sides, within or exposed to a public street, alley, sidewalk, park or other public place, any obstruction, viz.: any excavation, cellar, vault, coal bin or other room, well, cistern, hole or other depression, passageway, trench, drain, sewer, open area, opening, building, building material, broken up sidewalk, pavement, macadam, gravel, earth or other obstruction, within or adjoining any street, sidewalk, alley, park or other public ground within the city, by guards, fences or barriers, at least three feet (3') high and at night a red light or lights shall be placed and kept, so as to cast a light on such obstruction, and in case of any excavation, trench, drain, sewer, cellar, vault, cistern, well, open area or other opening, a red light shall be placed and kept at each end and as often as every fifty feet (50') along the entire side or length thereof. And such person shall replace, rebuild, relay or make, or cause to be replaced, rebuilt, relaid, or made, in all respects as good and safe, substantial and permanent as the same was before any street, sidewalk, crosswalk, alley, park or other public ground which may have been disturbed or displaced by such excavation, trench or obstruction.
  • No bridge or platform over any gutter in any street or alley within the city shall be more than twelve feet (12') in width, or if plank, less than two inches (2") thick resting on and securely nailed to four (4) stringers at least four inches (4") square and such bridge or platform shall not extend into any street more than eighteen inches (18") beyond the sidewalk space of said street, nor obstruct the flow of water in the gutter, and any such bridge or platform, or any culvert or box, or any obstruction to the flow of water in the gutter may be removed summarily by any person thereunto authorized by the council; provided, that no bridge, platform or gutter shall be placed on any street or alley, which now is or which may hereafter be improved by pavement, macadam or gravel, with stone or concrete curbings, without a permit of the council, or, as in other cases under this chapter provided.
  • No person shall place objects upon, or position themselves upon, the public sidewalk in a manner which unreasonably interferes with pedestrian travel on that sidewalk.