Right of Way/Obstruction & Excavation Permits

As a general rule, the right of way area on a Detroit Lakes street falls within 33 feet either direction from the center of the roadway. There are exceptions to this rule, however. Two of those exceptions include the East Shore Drive and South Shore Drive areas which have a 50 foot right of way.

Property owners are responsible for maintaining the right of way on their parcel by mowing the boulevard, shoveling the sidewalk, trimming back trees and hedges, and by keeping items such as rocks, planters, flower beds and sprinkler heads clear of the right of way. Any items that may be damaged by snow removal equipment is the responsibility of the property owner.



In order to dig in a city right of way, the contractor must hold a city EXCAVATION LICENSE. The fee for an Excavation License is on the fee schedule. In order to obtain a Right of Way Excavation License, an application must be submitted through the online platform, Cloudpermit, along with payment, for the yearly fee, proof of $2,000,000 liability insurance coverage, Workman’s Comp coverage, if applicable, and an excavation surety bond in the amount of $5,000. Your license will expire on December 31st of each year, regardless of the date it was purchased during the year.

An EXCAVATION PERMIT must be obtained for each dig site in a City right of way. The Excavation Permit fee is on the fee schedule. An excavator must hold an excavation license in order to get a permit. When the excavation is complete, the contractor fills out the top portion of the Certificate of Completion form.   

A contractor needs an excavation permit only if digging in a City right of way. If digging takes place on private property, a permit is not required.   Always remember to contact Gopher State One Call 48 hours before any digging begins.

When there is going to be an OBSTRUCTION of a right of way (with no dig), an Obstruction Permit must be obtained. At this time there is no charge for an Obstruction Permit. An obstruction is considered to be blocking any public right of way - streets, sidewalks, boulevard, parking spots, or parking lots, with demolition, machines, dumpsters, trailers, etc.

When there is an excavation or obstruction that affects the flow of traffic, the Public Works office must be contacted so a public notice can be sent out to emergency personnel – EMS, law enforcement, fire dept, news organizations, & public transportation in the City of DL.

Click HERE to apply for an Annual Excavation License, apply for a Right of Way Excavation Permit, or a Right of Way Obstruction Permit using our new online program, Cloudpermit. The paper forms are no longer used. Be prepared to upload insurance, worker's compensation information, and surety bond information.

When the work of the Right of Way Excavation Permit is complete, a Certificate of Completion will need to be filled out and returned to our office.

Completed forms may be e-mailed to: dlpublicworks@cityofdetroitlakes.com.

You can also drop them off at our office at 508 Front St E. Our office hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.


Right of Way Management Ordinance 302


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