Right of Way Occupancy Permits (ROW Permits)
Right of Way Occupancy Permits (ROW Permits) are revocable licenses issued to individuals, utility companies, governmental entities and businesses that allow for occupancy of the District’s rights of way for permanent or temporary improvements or activities.
While it is often presumed that the District’s rights of way only include the more than 2,200 miles of canals and levees that comprise the regional flood control system, designated rights of way also include the water conservation areas (WCAs) located east and south of Lake Okeechobee and many of the larger lakes located north of Lake Okeechobee. Rights of way subject to the issuance of ROW Permits are called “Works of the District”, a designation rendered by action of the District’s Governing Board.
Protecting the Flood Control System and the Environment
ROW Permits protect the District’s ability to effectively maintain and operate the regional flood control system and the environment while also allowing for essential facilities (e.g., bridges and utility crossings) and compatible recreational uses (e.g., linear parks, trails, docks, and marinas) within the right of way. Applications for ROW Permits are required to include specific details about the proposed improvements or activity, complete construction plans (if an improvement is proposed in the right of way) and, in most cases, an application fee.
Upon receipt of a completed application, the proposed improvements or use are evaluated to determine compliance with the District’s criteria for use of the rights of way. In addition, the application is reviewed to ensure that the proposal does not adversely impact operations and maintenance of the regional flood control system, water quality, the environment, and District goals and objectives. If the District determines that a ROW Permit can be issued, the construction of improvements or commencement of use may proceed, subject to District oversight and enforcement.
ROW Permits and Use of the District's Rights of Way
A ROW Permit is a revocable license that authorizes the use of the District’s right of way. With exception of utilities and governmental entities, a ROW Permit may be revoked at any time and without cause. Applicants should keep this in mind when proposing to expend significant monies in the District’s right of way. Furthermore, issuance of a ROW Permit does not convey any interest or vested right in the right of way or obligate the District to ensure that the right of way, including canals, is available for an applicant’s proposed improvements or use.
All applicants are required to agree to limiting conditions of the ROW Permit, which include, among other things, responsibility for all liability and indemnification on behalf of the District in the event of damage or injury. Use of the District’s right of way without having first obtained a ROW Permit is a violation of law and may result in removal of the improvements in the right of way, the imposition of civil penalties, or both.
On May 3, 2021, the District implemented online permitting for ROW Permit or ROW E-Permitting. ROW E-Permitting replaces paper application submittal and allows for:
- Online filing of applications for new and/or modified permits, permit transfers, and permit extensions.
- Payments by credit card or e-check.
- Electronic submittal of insurance renewals, financial assurance documents, and documents required for permit closeout, such as as-built drawings.
- Elimination of paper applications and site plans.
- Applicant self-service to view application status, permit records, and inspection results.
- Electronic delivery of documents, notices, and updates to applicants (e.g., requests for additional information (RAIs), scheduling of inspections, etc.).
ROW E-Permitting Implementation Schedule
ROW E-Permitting is being phased-in, subject to the schedule below. Effective October 4, 2021, no paper applications for new ROW Permits, modifications of existing ROW Permits, transfers or extensions will be accepted by the District.
|May 3, 2021||Online filing available for new ROW Permit applications ONLY.|
|October 4, 2021||Online filing available for all application types.|
How to Use ROW E-Permitting
ROW E-Permitting is easy and convenient. For the best experience, the District recommends that users review available helpful tips for use of the system prior to filing an application. To get started using ROW E-Permitting, click the button below to file online applications or search permit records.
FAQs, Forms and other Helpful Information
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).