The Land Management team at Development Services assists customers with obtaining rights for the use of City right-of-way and easements (streets, sidewalks, alleys, public utilities) through a variety of means depending on the project. 

 

License Agreements

Property owners may obtain a license agreement with the City of Austin to temporarily encroach into a public right-of-way or an easement for the private use of a structure or improvement (see City Code Chapter 14-11). However, License Agreements are NOT a permit to excavate in the City's right-of-way. If your work involves excavation, please contact the Department of Transportation Right of Way Management Division. The City reserves the right to give the Licensee 90 days' notice to remove the encroaching improvement. The following are the most common examples of when license agreements are required:

  • Retention or excavation support systems are used to minimize an excavation area, to keep the sides of deep excavations stable, and to ensure that movements will not cause damage to neighboring structures or to utilities in the surrounding ground. 
     
  • Streetscapes are considered improvements and street furnishings made to the outside of a structure in the City right-of-way (streets, sidewalks, alleys, public utilities) for a business. Examples include awnings, canopies, benches, bike racks, trash receptacles, street trees, landscaping, irrigation, outdoor dining areas, and pedestrian lighting.
     
  • Tower cranes have a large swingarm (boom) that typically have a swing radius that will cross over a City Right-of-way (streets, sidewalks, alleys, public utilities) which is considered as use of the Right-Of-Way and will require a license agreement from the City.

For questions about license agreements, please email the Land Management team at LandManagement2@austintexas.gov.

Required Documentation

To request a license agreement you will first need to gather all of the required documentation in PDF format as listed below. Missing documentation may result in a rejection of your application.

 

Required Documentation in PDF Format

Retention Systems

Tower Cranes

Streetscapes

1. License Agreement Application Yes Yes Yes
2. Introduction letter
Explain the project, scope, etc. (retention systems - start date of excavation, and duration for the retention system)
Yes Yes Yes
3. Final Site Plan 
Any changes made in the right-of-way or easements to the site plan must be resubmitted for review. Failure to do so will result in a delay in processing your license agreement.
Yes Yes Yes

4. License Agreement Plan Sheet (if streetscape)
This is a new requirement that will allow us to review your project faster and more accurately. Specifications for this sheet are located here.

    Yes
(include in the site plan above)
5. Survey of Proposed Licensed Area
Conducted by a Texas Registered Professional Land Surveyor (must include metes and bounds, and sketch, view detailed City guidelines here)
Yes Yes Yes
6. AULCC Meeting minute sheet (not a completeness letter) from Austin Utility Location and Coordination Committee (AULCC) with all reviewer responses, or comments. If any reviewer did not respond or was not present at the meeting, please notate that on the minute sheet.  Yes Yes Yes
7. Warranty Deed Yes Yes Yes
8. Corporate Resolution of Signature Authority Yes Yes Yes
9. Authorized Third Party Representation Letter Yes Yes Yes
10. County Appraisal District Property Detail Yes Yes Yes
11. Recorded Subdivision Plat Yes Yes Yes
12. Satellite map of the project location with cross streets displayed Yes Yes Yes
13. Engineer plans/drawings 
Signed and stamped (if tower crane, must include swing radius drawings with utilities shown)
Yes Yes Yes
14. Certificate of Insurance
For General Liability naming the City of Austin as additional insured to the policy. Important: The name of the insured and licensee must be the same. 
$500k $10M $500k
15. Geotechnical Report Yes Yes  
16. Calculation Designs Yes    
17. Signed Agreement with adjacent property owners Yes    
18. Crane foundation designs, engineer signed/stamped   Yes  
19. Crane Specifications   Yes  
20. 91-day Removability Plan (for any items attached to a building)     Yes
Application Submittal and Review Process

Consultation (optional)
We are happy to meet with you before you submit your application. We will review your project, your documentation, and answer any questions you have. Please contact us at landmanagement2@austintexas.gov to request a virtual or in-person meeting.

Submitting the application
After all the above-required documentation has been gathered, log in to Austin Build + Connect portal (AB+C),

 

  1. select "Apply for Right of Way Permits"
  2. select "Land Management"
  3. select "License Agreement"
  4. complete the online application
  5. upload all of the PDF documentation
  6. select "submit".
     
    Please note: Incomplete submissions that are missing the required documents listed above may result in a rejection of the application.
     

Completeness Check
Upon submission of your application and all required documentation, a property agent will review your application to ensure completeness. Some projects may require additional documentation based on the project, and the property agent will notify you if more information is needed. Examples may include:
 

- Signed Agreement with adjacent property owners
- Alternative Method of Compliance
- Recorded Easement Document
- Approval from Texas Walk of Stars

Payment
When your application has been reviewed and determined to be complete, you will be invoiced an application fee. Please submit payment through the AB+C portal. 

 
If an alternative AB+C user account needs to be invoiced in lieu of the applicant, please email LandManagement@austintexas.gov. the payee's user account email address and the property it is in reference to.

Reviews and Approvals
After payment has been received, staff will create a review packet and launch the review process. The review runs concurrently with the required City departments and private utility stakeholders. These reviews ensure that the public's interest in the rights-of-way or easements is protected. Customers will be copied on all correspondence with reviewers and it is their responsibility to work with the reviewers to clear, resolve, or accept any rejections. This process has a suggested time frame of 14 business days for the reviewers, however, this is not an exact deadline. All comments must be cleared by all reviewers, and the project must be fully approved before it can move forward to the drafting stage.

Drafting the Agreement
After all comments are cleared and approved with the reviewers, the survey will be reviewed, and a final cursory review will be conducted by land management staff. Once approved and all required documents are confirmed, staff will send a template of the agreement to the applicant to complete, and return with all supporting documentation (signature authority / corporate resolution). The agent will review the draft and supporting documentation, and then send the final agreement to be executed by the applicant first. The applicant then provides the executed agreement to the agent, and the agent will have the agreement executed by the City.

Recording with the appropriate County
The completed and signed agreement is then recorded with the County. There is an additional recording fee assessed by the County based on the number of pages being recorded. 

 

Easement Releases

An easement is a vested interest (property right) in which the city's utility has been granted by a person or entity for a specific limited purpose for the waterline, wastewater, electricity, or many other uses. An easement is on private property and not within the city's public right of way.

City of Austin Code Chapter 14-11 - Use of Right of Way, Division 2 Release of Public Easement allows a property owner to apply for an easement release. The release may be in full or for a portion of the easement. To grant an easement release, the city determines the release will not disrupt or interfere with the present or future needs of the applicable city utility department and private utility providers. The release will require consent from all stakeholders, i.e. all parties who currently enjoy the rights of the easement. This action does not require council approval.

    For questions about easement releases, please contact LandManagement@austintexas.gov.

    Required Documentation

    To request an easement release you will first need to gather all of the required documentation in PDF format and name each document as shown in bold below:
      

    1. Application
      Signed and completed Easement Release Application.
       
    2. Intro Letter
      Introduction letter stating what is being done and the purpose of the project.
       
    3. Survey
      Please provide your surveyor with our guidelines as the City has specific requirements for surveys.
       
    4. Dedication Easement Instrument
      Only required if dedicated by separate instrument rather than by plat. The dedication easement instrument is what was recorded that shows that the easement exists. Many times, this can be found by looking up the document that was either referenced on the survey, or on the title policy. A good place to start is https://www.tccsearch.org/RealEstate/SearchEntry.aspx.
       
    5. Plat
      Only if the easement was dedicated by Plat.
       
    6. Conveyance Deed
      This should be the most recent deed to show ownership.
       
    7. Authorization Letter
      If the applicant is different from the owner, this shows that the owner, or the authorized agent for the owning entity, signs rights to give the applicant authority to represent them through the process.
       
    8. TCAD
      Visit http://propaccess.traviscad.org/clientdb/?cid=1, type in an address, or TCAD or Geo ID # from the survey, print/save report.
    Application Submittal and Review Process
    1. Submitting the application
      After all the above-required documentation has been gathered, log in to Austin Build + Connect portal (AB+C),
       
      1. select "Apply for Right of Way Permits"
      2. select "Land Management"
      3. select "Easement Release"
         
        IMPORTANT: Please refer to your survey to determine which type of easement release you are requesting. Your surveyor will have it specified on the survey itself.
        Selecting the wrong application type at the beginning of the process cannot be corrected later, and will need to be voided, and re-started. 

         
      4. complete the online application
      5. upload all of the PDF documentation
      6. select "submit".
         
        Please note: Incomplete submissions that are missing the required documents listed above will be canceled and removed from the system.
         
    2. Completeness Check
      Upon submission of your application and all required documentation, a property agent will review your application to ensure completeness. 
       
    3. Payment
      When your application has been reviewed and determined to be complete, you will be invoiced a $1,000 application fee. Please submit payment through the AB+C portal. Review of your application will not begin until after payment is received.
       

      If an alternative AB+C user account needs to be invoiced in lieu of the applicant, please email LandManagement@austintexas.gov. the payee's user account email address and the property it is in reference to.
       

    4. Reviews and Approvals
      After payment has been received, the application review process begins with multiple City departments and private utility stakeholders reviewing the application concurrently. These reviews ensure that the public's interest in the rights-of-way or easements is protected. Customers will be copied on the initial correspondence with reviewers and it is their responsibility to work with the reviewers to clear, resolve, or accept any rejections. This process has a suggested time frame of 14 business days for the reviewers, however, this is not an exact deadline.

       

    5. Recording with the appropriate County
      After the City surveyor has approved, the completed and signed agreement is then recorded with the County. There is an additional recording fee assessed by the County based on the number of pages being recorded. This process takes between 1-3 weeks to complete.

     

    If a new easement will need to be dedicated:

    • If related to the active site plan please see your case manager to record. Once recorded please submit a copy to us.
       
    • If not related to the active site plan, please discuss with land management the next steps so that it does not hold up your release application.
       
    • If, during the easement release process, a reviewer requires a new easement be dedicated, please contact your land management staff member to start this process immediately or it could cause a delay in getting your easement released.
     

      Right-of-way Encroachments 

      A right-of-way encroachment grants the applicant the permanent right for the use of a public Right-of-Way for a private improvement, such as Sky Bridges, structurally integrated balconies, underground parking garages. See City of Austin Code Chapter 14-11 - Use of Right of Way, Division 4 Permanent Encroachment of Public Right-of-Way. All requests for right-of-way encroachments require City Council approval.

      Before submitting an application for right-of-way encroachment, please contact Mashell Smith at mashell.smith@austintexas.gov to schedule an initial consultation.

      IMPORTANT: If multiple parcels are included in the application, all owners must be exactly the same, if not, a quitclaim deed for the ROW land can be signed over to one entity.
       

      Required Documentation
      1. Signed and completed Application Right-of-way Encroachment Agreement Application
         
      2. Introduction Letter stating what is being done and the purpose of the project
         
      3. Survey (per guidelines)*
         
      4. 3D Survey
         
      5. Original Plat showing the right-of-way (alley or road) being dedicated/created
         
      6. Conveyance Deed (most recent deed(s) to show ownership of adjoining property owner(s))
         
      7. Authorization letter (if the applicant is different from the owner), showing that the owner, or the authorized agent for the owning entity, signs rights to give the applicant authority to represent them through the process.
         
      8. TCAD (http://propaccess.traviscad.org/clientdb/?cid=1, type in an address, or TCAD or Geo ID # from the survey, print/save report
      Application Submittal and Review Process
      1. Initial Consultation
        Before submitting an application for a right-of-way encroachment, please contact Mashell Smith at mashell.smith@austintexas.gov to schedule an initial consultation.(required).
         
      2. Submitting the application
        After all the above-required documentation has been gathered, log in to Austin Build + Connect portal (AB+C),
         
        1. select "Apply for Right of Way Permits"
        2. select "Land Management"
        3. select "Encroachments"
        4. complete the online application
        5. upload all of the PDF documentation
        6. select "submit".
           
          Please note: Incomplete submissions that are missing the required documents listed above will cause delays in the review of your application.
           
      3. Completeness Check
        Upon submission of your application and all required documentation, a property agent will review your application to ensure completeness. Some projects may require additional documentation based on the project, and the property agent will notify you if more information is needed. 
         
      4. Payment
        When your application has been reviewed and determined to be complete, you will be invoiced a $7,800 application fee. Please submit payment through the AB+C portal. Review of your application will not begin until after payment is received.

         
        If an alternative AB+C user account needs to be invoiced in lieu of the applicant, please email LandManagement@austintexas.gov. the payee's user account email address and the property it is in reference to.
         

      5. Reviews and Approvals
        After payment has been received, the application review process begins with multiple City departments and private utility stakeholders reviewing the application concurrently. These reviews ensure that the public's interest in the rights-of-way is protected. Customers will be copied on all correspondence with reviewers and it is your responsibility to work with the reviewers to clear, resolve, or accept any rejections. This process has a suggested time frame of 14 business days for the reviewers, however, this is not an exact deadline.

         

      6. Boards and Commissions Reviews & Public Notices
        The department Director may submit for review with the appropriate Boards and Commissions. The applicant must represent themselves to the Boards during these meetings and be prepared to answer any questions.
         
      7. Submit for Appraisal
        The applicant will need to file a 1295 form with the state, and pay the City the appraised value for the public rights the City is vacating.
         
      8. City Council Vote
        The appropriate department Director will represent the application/file at the scheduled Council meeting. The applicant and owner should be available to answer any Council questions.
         
      9. Recording with appropriate County
        After Council has approved the City entering into an Encroachment Agreement, the agent will receive the Ordinance from the City Clerk (this takes about 7 days). Staff will then draft and distribute the Encroachment Agreement. Insurance Certificate with the City being shown as additional insured is required. Corporate Resolution showing signature authority will be reviewed and checked against the Secretary of State's website. Once confirmed and the document is signed by all appropriate parties the document will be recorded in the appropriate County. This process takes 3 - 6 weeks.
       

          Right-of-way Vacations

          A right-of-way vacation is requesting the City to relinquish the public’s interest in the property, and can only be requested by the adjoining property owners. Public Notice goes to owners within 300’, as well as any identified Neighborhood Associations. See Austin Code 14-11 - Use of Right of Way, Division 5 - Vacation of Public Right-of-Way. City Council approval is required.

          Before submitting an application for a right-of-way vacation, please contact Mashell Smith at mashell.smith@austintexas.gov to schedule an initial consultation.

          IMPORTANT: If multiple parcels are included in the application, all owners must be exactly the same, if not, a quitclaim deed for the ROW land can be signed over to one entity.

          Required Documentation
          1. Right-of-way (Street/Alley) Vacation Agreement Application
             
          2. Introduction Letter stating what is being done and the purpose of the project
             
          3. Survey (per guidelines)*
             
          4. Original Plat showing the right-of-way (alley or road) being dedicated/created
             
          5. Conveyance Deed (most recent deed(s) to show ownership of adjoining property owner(s))
             
          6. Authorization letter (if the applicant is different from the owner), showing that the owner, or the authorized agent for the owning entity, signs rights to give the applicant authority to represent them through the process.
             
          7. TCAD (http://propaccess.traviscad.org/clientdb/?cid=1, type in an address, or TCAD or Geo ID # from the survey, print/save report
          Application Submittal and Review Process
          1. Initial Consultation
            Before submitting an application for a right-of-way encroachment, please contact Mashell Smith at mashell.smith@austintexas.gov to schedule an initial consultation.(required).
             
          2. Submitting the application
            After all the above-required documentation has been gathered, log in to Austin Build + Connect portal (AB+C),
             
            1. select "Apply for Right of Way Permits"
            2. select "Land Management"
            3. select "R.O.W. Vacation"
            4. complete the online application
            5. upload all of the PDF documentation
            6. select "submit".
               
              Please note: Incomplete submissions that are missing the required documents listed above will cause delays in the review of your application.
               
          3. Completeness Check
            Upon submission of your application and all required documentation, a property agent will review your application to ensure completeness. Some projects may require additional documentation based on the project, and the property agent will notify you if more information is needed. 
             
          4. Payment
            When your application has been reviewed and determined to be complete, you will be invoiced a $9,800 application fee. Please submit payment through the AB+C portal. Review of your application will not begin until after payment is received.
             

            If an alternative AB+C user account needs to be invoiced in lieu of the applicant, please email LandManagement@austintexas.gov. the payee's user account email address and the property it is in reference to.
             

          5. Reviews and Approvals
            After payment has been received, the application review process begins with multiple City departments and private utility stakeholders reviewing the application concurrently. These reviews ensure that the public's interest in the rights-of-way is protected. Customers will be copied on all correspondence with reviewers and it is your responsibility to work with the reviewers to clear, resolve, or accept any rejections. This process has a suggested time frame of 14 business days for the reviewers, however, this is not an exact deadline.

             

          6. Boards and Commissions Reviews & Public Notices
            The application is submitted for review with the required Boards and Commissions. The applicant must represent themselves to the Boards during these meetings and be prepared to answer any questions.
             
          7. Submit for Appraisal
            The applicant will need to pay the City the appraised value for the public rights the City is vacating. HB 1295 is not required.
             
          8. City Council Vote
            The appropriate department Director will represent the application/file at the scheduled Council meeting. The applicant and owner should be available to answer any Council questions.
             
          9. Recording with the appropriate County
            After Council has approved the City entering into a Vacation Agreement, the agent will receive the Ordinance from the City Clerk (this takes about 7 days). Staff will then draft and distribute the Encroachment Agreement. Insurance Certificate with the City being shown as additional insured is required. Corporate Resolution showing signature authority will be reviewed and checked against the Secretary of State's website. Once confirmed and the document is signed by all appropriate parties the document will be recorded in the appropriate County. This process takes 3 - 6 weeks.