Right-of-Way Encroachments

Pursuant to NC General Statute § 160A-296, the Town of Wake Forest has the authority to regulate the use of public streets, sidewalks, alleys and other public passages within its corporate limits. 

A Right-of-Way Encroachment Agreement is required for the installation of non-standard item(s) within a Town-maintained street right-of-way, sidewalk or parking lot by a private individual, group, business, or homeowner’s/business association. A non-standard item is one not installed by the Town of Wake Forest Public Works Department in the exercise of its duties and responsibilities, which conforms to standards in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department, or by utility franchise holders approved by the Town.

Encroachments are necessary to ensure that there is no adverse impact to public safety or future roadway or utility needs. Encroachment Agreements are required for all new and existing encroachments. If an encroachment agreement is not obtained, the encroachment is subject to removal.

Step 1: Identify type of Encroachment and Submit Application 

Major Encroachment Application (Include but not limited to)

  1. Hardscape (pavers, fences, retaining walls)

  2. Streetscape (benches, bike racks)

  3. Utilities (stormwater devices, wells, grease traps, meter repair)

  4. Building elements (balconies, doors, stairs, landings, ramps)

Major Encroachment Application

PLEASE NOTE: For landscaping encroachments, including planting and irrigation, please contact Streets Superintendent Tim Bailey at 919-435-9578. 


Minor Encroachment Application (Include but not limited to)

  1. Outdoor merchandise

  2. Street furniture (movable)

  3. Awnings

  4. Overhead signage

  5. A-Frame signage

Minor Encroachment Application


Wireless Telecommunications

Step 2: Fill out Encroachment Policy 

Applicant is responsible for reviewing Policy and acquiring a notary. Following submission of the application, staff will send you a ROW Encroachment Policy. The Policy may also be downloaded below. Contact Public Works at 919-435-9570 to schedule a notary appointment. 

ROW Policy for Homeowners

ROW Policy for Business Owners

Step 3: Call Insurance (Business Owners Only)

Insurance Requirements are listed below. Insurance is only needed for business owners. 

AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY – Bodily injury and property damage liability covering all owned, non-owned and hired automobiles for limits of not less than $1,000,000 bodily injury each person, each accident and $1,000,000 property damage, or $1,000,000 combined single limit each occurrence/aggregate.

COMMERCIAL GENERAL LIABILITY – bodily injury and property damage liability as shall protect the contractor and any subcontractor performing work under this contract from claims of bodily injury or property damage which arise from operation of this contract whether such operations are performed by contractor, any subcontractor or any one directly or indirectly employed by either. The amounts of such insurance shall not be less than $1,000,000 bodily injury each occurrence/aggregate and $1,000,000 property damage each occurrence/aggregate or $1,000,000 bodily injury and property damage combined single limits each occurrence/aggregate This insurance shall include coverage for products/completed operation, personal injury liability and contractual liability assumed under the indemnity provision of this contract.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE – Meet the statutory requirements of the State of North Carolina and Employers Liability - $100,000 per accident limit, $500,000 disease per policy limit, $100,000 disease each employee limit, providing coverage for employees and owners.

The Town shall be named as an additional insured and the statement should read: “Town of Wake Forest is to be added as an additional insured as evidenced by an endorsement attached to this certificate.” Only “A” rated insurance companies will be acceptable to the Town. In the event the contractor fails to maintain and keep in force the insurance herein required, the Town reserves the right to cancel and terminate the contract without notice.  The policies shall not be cancelled without 90 days prior notice to the Town.

Process Overview

  1. The applicant is responsible for reviewing this process to see if an encroachment will be permitted. Contact Public Works at 919-435-9570 for questions regarding eligibility. The application review will not begin until a completed application is received.

  2. The applicant shall submit to the Town an application, all supplemental documents and fee. The application will consist of:

    1. Three (3) encroachment agreements (including notary) signed by the applicant.

    2. The applicant shall supply the Town with a Certificate of Insurance for review with the Town designated as an additional named insured. An exception may be granted for irrigation systems installed by single-family detached homeowners. See below for details on requirements for insurance. Applicant is responsible for renewal of the Certificate of Insurance as necessary for the life of the encroachment.

    3. For major encroachments: Scaled drawings (prepared at 1”=20’, 30’ or 40’) showing detailed Plan and Elevation drawings of the existing conditions and the proposed encroaching item including: R/W lines, signs, trees, curb, gutter, sidewalk, poles, pavement edges, utilities, and vicinity map must be submitted via online review.

    4. For any encroachment for which a building permit is required, the applicant shall supply the Town with a completed building permit application.

    5. For minor encroachments: scaled sketch or plans of encroachment.

    6. Detail or specification of the item to be placed within the right-of-way.

    7. Narrative detailing the installation procedure and plan notes as necessary.

    8. A check made to the Town for the Application Fee in the amount set forth from time to time in the Town’s Fee Schedule. NOTE: Once submitted, fee is non-refundable.

  3. The application is reviewed by staff and comments will be provided within 30 days.

  4. Comments are returned to the applicant and any issues must be resolved prior to resubmittal.

  5. A signed encroachment policy will be issued once the application is approved.

  6. Prior to starting construction, the applicant shall deliver an approved building permit to the Town and Town must be notified a minimum of 48 hours in advance. The applicant is responsible to document, with photos, the existing infrastructure prior to construction.  If the applicant fails to report to the Town, the applicant may be held responsible for pre-existing damage at or adjacent to the work site.

  7. For new installations, the applicant shall arrange an inspection with the Town immediately after completion of the work. Please contact Public Works at 919-435-9570 to arrange an inspection.  The applicant shall restore all public property and improvements back to the condition that existed prior to the work.  The applicant shall indemnify, defend and hold the Town harmless for any and all costs and damages arising from the applicant’s work.

  8. The applicant, upon completion of the encroachments requiring construction drawings, shall submit to the Town as-built drawings of the encroachment showing the precise location of the encroachment, and in the case of encroachments for transmission devices, the drawing shall show all the locations of other utilities in the right-of-way.