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Minneapolis, MN  55415-1390

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Use of City Property or Right of Way/Encroachment Permits

The City of Minneapolis requires permits for use or encroachment on city property or right-of-way, for use of city-owned malls and plazas, for attaching banners and seasonal decorations to poles in the right-of-way, or for placing a bench at a bus stop. See below for descriptions and information about the types of permits and will help you determine the type of permit you need.


How to apply

Applications are available online for the following permits:

For instructions on how to apply for a Banner Permit or Bus Bench Permit, see the details below. 

Types of permits

Encroachment Permit

An Encroachment Permit is required for any existing or proposed structure or portion thereof that projects onto, under or over any municipal right of way, under the authority outlined in Title 5, Chapter 95, of the City of Minneapolis Code of Ordinances. The Encroachment Permit gives the permit-holder permission to use a specific portion of the right of way until such time as that portion of the right of way is needed by the City of Minneapolis for public purposes. Encroachment Permits are revocable at any time in the interest of public safety.

How to apply for an Encroachment Permit

Apply using the Use of City Property or Right-of-Way / Encroachment Permit Application.

Public Works staff will review your request and determine whether the Encroachment Permit should be granted. If the application is approved, you will be sent the following forms:

  1. An acceptance form in which the property owner agrees to the conditions the City places on the Encroachment Permit
  2. An insurance endorsement form to be completed by the property owner's insurance agent and returned with a certificate of liability coverage which names the City of Minneapolis as an additional insured party. Our address as additional insured is the mailing address listed in the application above.

When the two items have been submitted to the Department of Public Works, an Encroachment Permit will be issued. If the application is denied, you will be informed regarding your right to appeal, and the procedure by which an appeal may be made.

You must obtain any required Encroachment Permits BEFORE obtaining Building Permits. In some cases, review by the Zoning Department, Regulatory Services, Park Board and/or other Public Works departments may be necessary. For leased property, or property being purchased by a Contract for Deed, a letter from the fee owner of the property may be required. 

Banner/Seasonal Decoration Permit

a.k.a. Banner and Seasonal Decorations Attached to Poles in the Right of Way

A Banner Permit is required for attaching banners to poles in the right of way (Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Title 17 Chapter 449). Banners can be used to identify a historical location place of interest, or an event of public interest taking place within or benefiting the city. They may also be used to promote arts and cultural activities including events, festivals, tourism or civic programs, as well as major sporting events. Banners cannot advertise specific businesses, products, or services. They also cannot advertise or promote political candidates, parties, issues, or messages.

To apply, contact the Public Works Right of Way Office at (612) 673-2403.

Bus Bench Permit

Bus Bench Permits are required to place a bench at a bus stop. This permit is obtained by a private contractor. This permit must be reviewed by Sidewalk Inspections and approved by the council member of the ward. City Council grants final approval of this permit.

To apply, please contact your ward council member.

Right of Entry Permit

Right of Entry Permit is required to temporarily use city-owned land.

To apply, contact the Public Works Right of Way Office at (612) 673-3607.

Malls and Plaza Use Permit


A Malls & Plaza Use Permit is required to use or hold an event at the following City owned locations:

  • Peavey Plaza
  • Nicollet Mall
  • The Loring Greenway
  • The Chicago Mall (between the Guthrie Theater and the Mill City Museum)
    • Additional approval: Additional approval is required by the Chicago Mall Advisory Board. This process will be handled by the City; no additional action is needed by the applicant. Larger event planners however may be asked to attend an Advisory Board meeting to present their proposal and answer questions.
    • Traffic Control: Permittees are to be aware that access to the Humboldt Lofts Condo’s garage entrance must be maintained at all times. Depending upon the event, the applicant may need to provide traffic control to allow access the Humboldt Lofts garage. The approval process may include the requirement to provide a simple traffic control set-up during the event to maintain garage access. If required, the permittee can arrange for this for a small set-up/usage fee by contacting: Aaron Reser at 612-341-7580.
  • Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery
  • Other miscellaneous City owned properties


Application process

Apply for the use of city-owned plazas (except Peavey or Nicollet Mall) using the Request For Use of City Owned Plazas Form.

  • To apply, submit application at least 15 days prior to the requested date by:
    • E-mail the application to [email protected]
    • or fax to (612) 673-5581, Attn: Nancy McGrath
    • Questions, please call Nancy McGrath at (612) 673-2002
  • Approval: The city reviews the application to ensure it is complete. Incomplete applications will be returned.
  • Denial: Permit may be denied for a variety of reasons including scheduling conflicts.



  • Prior to approval, a bond or insurance may be required before a request is approved. If required, the applicant would submit a Certificate of Insurance from their Insurance company (Acord 25 form).
  • If there are questions regarding the need for insurance, contact Nancy McGrath, 612-673-2002. Required insurance must provide liability coverage in the amount of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) for one claimant and one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for any number of claimants.
  • The City of Minneapolis shall be named as a co-certificate holder.


Conditions and restrictions

Other Permits: If the request is approved, it is only for the use of the City property. Applicants are responsible for obtaining any other permits as needed for their event. Additional permits may include:

  • Parking permits: if needed, contact Parking Services, Scott Kramer 612-673-2383; or use the Right-of-way-Permitting System to obtain 'lane use' permits.
  • Noise permits: required for all users using amplified equipment; contact Regulatory Services at (612) 673-5817.
  • Food and/or beverage permits: contact the Minneapolis Department of Licenses & Consumer Services at (612) 673-2080 for further requirements.
  • Alcohol: Applicant agrees not to permit the sale or consumption of intoxicating liquors, without first obtaining the appropriate liquor license. Contact Licenses & Consumer Services at (612) 673-2080.

Claims: Applicant agrees to defend and hold the City harmless from claims, demands, actions or causes of actions, of any nature of character, arising out of, or by reason of conduct of the event authorized by such permit, including attorney fees and all expenses.

Damages: Applicant will indemnify the City for all damages that may result to City property, including any portion of such street, as a result of the event.

Supervision: Applicant will maintain adult supervision of the event or activity at all times.

Clean-up: Applicant will, at no cost to the City, immediately clean up, remove and dispose of all litter or material of any kind, which is placed or left on the site. If the applicant neglects or fails to proceed with the clean up within the three-hour period immediately following the end of the event or activity, or if the cleanup is done in an inadequate manner, the City Engineer is authorized to cleanup and charge the applicant for said cost.


More about Use of City Property or Right-of-Way/Encroachment Permits

    Contact the Public Works Right-of-Way Office for more information.

    Public Works Right-of-Way
    [email protected]
    Phone: (612) 673-2403
    309 2nd Avenue South, Room 200
    Minneapolis, MN 55401


Last updated Jun 26, 2019



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