The right-of-way (ROW) is public property that includes any public thoroughfare such as a street, road, or alley. It also usually includes adjacent median, curbs, ditches and culverts, parkways and parkway trees, utility poles, sidewalks, and driveway aprons, which is the section of all driveways between the street curb and the property line. Improvements located underground in the ROW include stormwater mechanisms, water mains, and sanitary sewers, as well as other public utility and cable lines. The ROW typically starts 12-18” from the edge of the public sidewalk nearest the residence or business and continues to the same point on the opposite side of the street. The exact location of the ROW boundary line can only be determined by locating buried property survey stakes, obtaining the information from your plat of survey, or hiring a licensed surveyor to establish new property survey markers. Rights-of-way can fall under City, County, or State jurisdiction. In Rolling Meadows, the following roads are in part or fully NOT within the City’s jurisdiction: Algonquin Road, Golf Road, Euclid Road, Plum Grove Road, Meacham Road, and Hicks Road.
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Parkways are generally the grass strips between the roadway curb and the sidewalk located in the ROW.
Permits are required for all work that is to be completed within the right-of-way as defined above. Any time an individual, property owner, contractor, or utility company needs to perform above or below groundwork within the City-owned ROW, a ROW permit is required. In some circumstances, a City building permit may be required instead of a ROW permit.
Utility installation, modification, or repair; such as electric, fiber optics, phone lines, cable lines, gas, or Small Cell wireless antennas.
Contact Community Development for more information on these types of projects.
Please note, regulations still apply for work performed within the right-of-way, even when a permit is not required.
Obtaining a permit ensures that all new work conducted within the City’s ROW meets all applicable regulations and does not interfere with existing above or below ground infrastructure, or pose a danger to the general public or the individuals performing the work. Permits also ensure that grass and other landscaping is restored to the same or better conditions as before the work was performed. Lastly, the City uses permit data to update its records on what exists in the ROW to avoid unnecessary or unforeseen costs during emergencies and routine maintenance.
Unless it is a small cell wireless application, a completed right-of-way general application must be filled out, as well as the top portion of the general fee schedule document (Work address, applicant’s name, address, phone number, working for, and owner or contractor). Small cell wireless applicants must fill out the Small Cell Wireless Application as well as the top portion of the general fee schedule document (Work address, applicant’s name, address, phone number, working for, and owner or contractor).
Every applicant must also submit all required supporting documents for the project; including a proposed map or design of where the work is occurring, materials for the project, scope of the project, a copy of the contractor’s certificate of insurance, a traffic plan, and structural calculations stamped by a design professional (if applicable).
There are some areas within Rolling Meadows that the State and/or County own and maintain. City permits for work in those ROWs are not required, but State or County permits may be required. The website at IL Road Jurisdiction-IDOT provides a color-coded map that identifies who owns and maintains each roadway within the City of Rolling Meadows. City staff can provide further assistance by e-mailing a request to ROWpermits@cityrm.org to assist with the identification of who owns and maintains the street. Be sure to provide the address or any other locational information in your request.
You can submit a permit application electronically via email by sending the application and project documents to ROWpermits@cityrm.org , or you can send them via U.S. mail to:
Rolling Meadows Public Works Department
Attention: ROW Permits
3900 Berdnick Street
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
All permits are good for 180 days from the issuance of the approved permit. If this timeline cannot be met, the City can consider requests for extensions by sending a request to ROWpermits@cityrm.org.
Each project is different, so City staff will provide information about what inspections are required for each permit. These inspection requirements are noted on the approved permit. Most projects need a pre-and post- (final) inspection. All inspection requests require a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the desired time. If a project is removing any hardscape such as a sidewalk or a portion of a driveway, a pre-pour and final inspection for the concrete or asphalt will need to be scheduled. Approved construction plans (including traffic plans) and issued permits must be available on-site and accessible to an inspector upon request during an inspection. Please have the permit number, location, and contact information available when requesting to schedule an inspection.
To schedule an inspection please call the Community Development Division at 847-506-6030
It is unlawful to injure any public tree located in the ROW parkway. Any excavation under the overhead tree canopy (drip line) requires approval from the City Forester before any work can begin. A site visit can be scheduled and the City Forester can be reached at 847-963-0500. Please see the Municipal Code for Chapter 14 Vegetation on the City’s Website for more information.
The Director of Public Works or designee shall have the authority to determine the excavation limits and methods to be used, or to grant exemptions from the requirements (when warranted or in his/her discretion is deemed to be an unusual circumstance), and to suspend or terminate construction that deviates from approved plans. The Director of Public Works or designee has the authority to determine when unavoidable damage to tree roots is substantial enough to cause the tree to be unstable and/or hazardous, therefore warranting removal and replacement of the tree at the applicant’s cost.
During certain types of construction work, the applicants may be required to place tree fencing as determined by the City Forester to prevent long-term health concerns or injury to the trees. All tree guards are subject to approval by the City Forester or designee.
No person or utility shall be granted a permit to excavate or open any street or sidewalk from November 15th of each year to April 1st of the following year unless an emergency or special condition exists and permission is obtained in writing from the City. Any person or utility wishing to obtain an excavation permit between the aforementioned dates shall first explain fully, in writing, the nature of the emergency situation to the City before permission is granted. If a hazardous condition, which would endanger life and/or property exists, excavation work shall not be delayed. However, a written explanation shall be delivered to the City as soon as possible and an excavation permit obtained for the opening made by the following day.
Yes, any contractor or subcontractor doing work within the City of Rolling Meadows must have an active contractor license with the City of Rolling Meadows before any work commences. This is also needed for companies doing work for utilities under franchise agreements as well. The contractor’s licenses may be obtained by going to the Community Development Division and filing the appropriate paperwork before any work commences.
Yes. Any contractor doing work in the right of way needs to provide the City a certificate of insurance that meets the following requirements:
A surety bond will also be required to protect the City against failure to restore the right-of-way. The amount will depend on the scope and type of work being completed, and the amount will be communicated as part of the right-of-way permit approval. The bond shall be released to the permit holder upon the expiration of the guarantee period. The guarantee period shall be for a period of two years following the satisfactory completion of the permitted work. During the guarantee period, the applicant shall be responsible for the restoration, repair, and maintenance of their work