Public Works Permits

When Do I Need a Street Opening Permit?

Permits are required for any type of excavation, including, but not limited to:

  • Paving of all existing and new driveways and parking lots. (approval required from Zoning Enforcement for all new driveways).
  • Crossing a sidewalk or driveway apron with heavy equipment
  • Installing, repairing or replacing conduit, pipes, laterals and underground utilities
  • Installing, replacing or removing street curbing
  • Resurfacing the street; resurfacing, widening, or repairing any sidewalk or curb cut in the public right-of-way
  • Storing materials, dumpsters, or equipment in the public right-of-way

Permit Applications and Requirements:

Standard application forms for street opening permits can be obtained from the Department of Public Works (DPW) at 124 Orchard Street during normal business hours. Permit applications must be filled out by the contractor doing the work. Insurance and bonding requirements apply. Dig Safe confirmation numbers must be provided.

The permit must be completed by the contractor performing the work, not the property owner(s). The contractor must supply an insurance certificate, naming the City as additionally insured. A permit bond in the amount of $10,000 is also required.

A Dig Safe number for the work must be provided with the application. The City of Watertown is not a member of Dig Safe and must be notified separately.

Please allow up to 5 to 7 days for permit processing. Street opening permits are valid for 30 days from the date of their issuance unless a longer or shorter duration is expressly specified in the permit. Street opening permits are valid for 30 days from the date of their issuance unless a longer or shorter duration is expressly specified in the permit.

For additional information please review Street Opening Permit Regulations

DPW Site Plan Review

All new construction requires a DPW site plan and site plan review prior to issuance of a street opening permit. This includes, but is not limited to new driveways, new water and sewer services, new buildings, residential conversions, and new building construction.

Site Plan Checklist: For single and two-family construction.

Site Plan Checklist: For residential and commercial construction.  

Water Department Utility Requirements

Driveway & Parking Lot Paving

Paving of all driveways and parking lots requires a street opening permit. Approval from the Zoning Enforcement Officer is required prior to issuance.

Parking Lot Drainage Retrofits

Stormwater controls must be installed during the resurfacing of any parking lot over 5,000 square feet in surface area.

Street Opening Moratoriums

The City of Watertown maintains a moratorium on street opening activities between November 15 and April 15. Any exceptions must be approved at the discretion of the Superintendent of Public Works.

Roads paved within the past five years are subject to a street opening moratorium, except in emergency conditions as determined by the Superintendent of Public Works. In such circumstances, the DPW may require that the permanent patch be treated by a process (i.e. infra-red, microwave, or curb-to-curb) that will ensure that the patch is integrated into the existing bituminous surface in a seamless manner. The DPW will consider petitions to waive the five-year moratorium on a case-by-case basis.

View the 2023 Road Moratorium List


Inspections of all concrete and curbing is required prior to setting or pouring. Please contact DPW Highway Department at least 24 hours in advance of work to schedule an inspection.

Inspection of all water, sewer and drain construction must also be coordinated with the Department’s Utility Division.

Certificate of Occupancy Signs-offs

How to obtain a DPW Sign-off

View Utility Final Sign-off Requirements

Stormwater Management and Erosion Control Permit

DPW administers the City’s Stormwater Management and Erosion Control Ordinance, Chapter 98 of the Code of Ordinances. Projects of certain size and scope are required to obtain a permit from DPW to demonstrate compliance with the permit. In general, the following types of projects require coverage under a permit:

  • New single family residential construction
  • New two-family residential construction or residential addition with new unit
  • New commercial or multi-unit residential construction
  • Net increase in site impervious surface area by more than 500 square feet
  • Land disturbance of 5,000 square feet of total area or more (includes driveway and parking lot excavation, reclamation, milling)
  • Land disturbance of 1 acre or greater (If YES, project additionally requires USEPA Construction General Permit)
  • Preliminary site investigation activities that will be part of a larger common development plan that will disturb 5,000 square feet of total area or more
  • Create or modify a direct connection to the MS4 (City of Watertown stormwater system)

For more information, please view the City’s NPDES permitting page

Related Documents

EPA Erosion Control for Residential Construction Sites

Street Opening Permit Rules and Regulations

Public Works