Right-of-Way Division

About the ROW Division

All right-of-way utility permitting responsibilities are handled through the Engineering Division. Currently this division permits primarily water, sewer, gas, electric, cable, telecommunications and fiber-optic installations. Commercial driveways are permitted through this department if the Development requires a NDRC Review or if the commercial driveway is reconstructed or modified in any way.

This division also ensures that utilities and various other installations within SJC rights-of-ways adhere strictly to the St. Johns County Land Development Code as passed by the Board of County Commissioners in 1999.

We work closely with all County and State departments as well as with utility companies, engineering firms and residents. This creates better coordination and quality, as well as assuring that all work done in County rights-of-ways meets strict standards and provides for public safety. The end result is tremendous cost savings to St. Johns County and taxpayers.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Work with the Engineering Division’s Project Managers to eliminate conflicts between Right-Of-Way Division utility permitting, Capital Improvement Projects, and Transportation Trust Fund Projects.
  • Conduct site reviews for utility projects.
  • Notify the Code Enforcement Division and State agencies of code violations and assist in solving those issues.
  • Review all right-of-way permit applications, drawings, and specification.
  • Coordinate meetings and final inspections on all permitted utility projects with other County Departments & Government Agencies.
  • Provides public notice of pending projects based on the NBR (Neighborhood Bill of Rights) requirements as set forth under County Ordinance # 2007-1.

Utilities FAQ

Do I need a permit to install utilities within St. Johns County?

Yes. The SJC Land Development Code requires a written permit to disturb, excavate, block, obstruct, tamper, with or place any construction or other material in any public road right-of-way within St. Johns County. There are only two exceptions to that requirement:

  1. If your company is only working in a FDOT Right-of-Way you will not require a permit from this office.
  • If you are doing off-site utility work for a commercial application or a new subdivision and all off-site utilities were shown on your approved Development Review plans you will not need a permit from this office. Otherwise any and all request to work within the SJC rights-of-ways will require a permit from this office.

What about emergency repair work, such as broken water lines, downed power lines, etc.? Is a permit required before making repairs?

No, situations of this type are considered non-scheduled emergencies and should be repaired immediately. However you must contact this office at (904) 209-0126 and inform the SJC inspector where the work was performed. In addition, should damage occur to any County roadways, drainage, etc., which are the results of emergency repairs, a permit will be required and a fee accessed.

For services crossing paved county owned roadways, can the asphalted roadway surface be cut open to install the utility?

No, open road cuts are generally not allowed on paved roadways unless the existing roadway is in poor condition. Right-Of-Way evaluates poor condition claims on a case-by-case basis. All road crossings must be conducted by directional drilling or jack and boring at a minimum depth under pavement of 42”. In the event that boring cannot be utilized, you must show on the construction drawings all details as to why the boring method could not be utilized. JETTING is prohibited.

Do I need a license to install utilities within the SJC rights-of-ways?

Utility construction, including but not limited to water, sewer, and storm water must be preformed by a licensed underground utility contractor.

Is there a penalty for doing work in St. Johns County without a permit?

Yes. Due to the increased staff time involved in such a circumstance and the inspection scheduling involved, the fee is double the normal permit fee for the subject work plus $50.00. A permit that would normally cost $500.00 could cost as much as $1,050.00 with the penalty plus the additional cost to you of having to stop all current activities until the permit is approved.

What number do I call for the FINAL inspection?

Call (904) 209-0126 twenty-four (24) hours a day and leave a message including your permit number and you will be contacted within two (2) business days to set up the FINAL inspection.

Contact Inspector!

Applicant, Contractor, or Subcontractor must contact the inspector assigned to your permit 48 hours in advance of starting work. No exceptions.

Staff

All Right-of-Way Division staff are certified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as erosion, stormwater and sedimentation control inspectors. This helps to prevent non-stormwater discharges into the county’s storm drainage system and ensures that the water quality in St. Johns County is maintained by eliminating run-off of sediment from construction sites.

There are four staff members assigned to this division: Two serve primarily as Office Staff and two are Field Inspectors.

Inspections / Repairs For final inspections or emergency repairs call: (904) 209-0126 twenty-four hours a day. Please leave as much information as possible, such as: permit number, address, contact information, etc.

Michelle Cline Right-of-Way Technician
Robert Fuller Inspector

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