Code Section Group

Streets and Highways Code - SHC

DIVISION 1. STATE HIGHWAYS [50 - 897]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29. )

CHAPTER 3. The Care and Protection of State Highways [660 - 759.3]

  ( Chapter 3 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29. )

ARTICLE 2. Permit Provisions [670 - 695]
  ( Article 2 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29. )

670.
  

(a) The department may issue written permits, as provided in this chapter, authorizing the permittee to do any of the following acts:

(1) Make an opening or excavation for any purpose in any state highway.

(2) Place, change, or renew an encroachment.

(3) Place or display in, under, or over any state highway any advertising sign or device. Any advertising sign or device placed or displayed in violation of this section is a public nuisance and the department may immediately remove it. This section does not prohibit the posting of any notice in the manner required by law or by the order of any court.

(4) Plant, remove, cut, cut down, injure, or destroy any tree, shrub, plant, or flower growing within any state highway. However, the department shall not issue a permit for, or take any other action to accomplish, the destruction, removal, or topping of any tree, unless the tree is dead or diseased, for the purpose of improving or enhancing the view from the highway of an advertising sign or device or any commercial activity, unless, for any project whose cost is more than five hundred dollars ($500), the permittee has obtained consent from the city or county in which the tree is located. Nothing in this paragraph limits the department’s authority to modify or deny any permittee’s request. If the city or county does not respond within 30 days to a request for a permit pursuant to this paragraph, the city or county is deemed to have given consent to the project.

(5) Install or remove tire chains upon motor vehicles for compensation on any state highway at locations designated in the permit, upon any terms and conditions relating to the safe and orderly movement of traffic that the department finds necessary. The department may issue sufficient permits for the installation or removal of tire chains that it finds necessary or desirable to accommodate the demand for those services consistent with the maximum convenience and safety to traffic. The department, in issuing any permit for the installation or removal of tire chains, shall assume no responsibility for the competence or reliability of the permittee in performing those services.

(b) Any person who does any act specified in this section without a permit is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1241, Sec. 4.5. Effective January 1, 1993.)

670.1.
  

(a) The department may issue a permit to the owner or developer of property adjacent to or near a state highway to construct, alter, repair, or improve any portion of the highway for the purpose of improving local traffic access, if the improvements to the highway are required as part of, or as a condition to, the development of property and the improvements are accepted by the department.

(b) The permit may be issued only if the work within the highway right-of-way is to be performed in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the department and the department reserves the right to inspect and accept the work as complying with the approved plans and specifications.

(c) All road, bridge, street lighting, or installation of signal work performed under a permit issued pursuant to this section for acceptance into the state highway system, except work performed solely to allow private encroachments onto the state highway or for utility or drainage encroachments within the state highway, are public works for purposes of Part 7 (commencing with Section 1720) of Division 2 of the Labor Code.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1106, Sec. 5.)

670.5.
  

(a) The Flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of California may be displayed on a sidewalk located in or abutting on a state highway situated within a city, if the type of flagholder and the method of its installation and maintenance are not in violation of the department’s rules.

(b) (1) A city or county may display the Flag of the United States of America or the Flag of the State of California, or both, as part of a gateway monument if the flags are maintained by the city or county.

(2) As used in this subdivision, a “gateway monument” means any freestanding structure or sign, or nonintegral or nonrequired highway feature, constructed within the state’s right-of-way, that communicates the name of the city or county.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 201, Sec. 1. (AB 866) Effective January 1, 2018.)

671.
  

Any act done under the authority of a written permit, issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be done in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter, and the terms and conditions of such permit.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

671.1.
  

The department may establish a fee schedule and charge a fee for the issuance of permits pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, except that no such fee shall be charged by the department to any public corporation. The fee schedule established by the department shall not produce a total estimated revenue in excess of the estimated total cost to the department for administering the provisions of this chapter, excluding the cost of issuing permits exempted by statute or regulation from the payment of fees. Funds collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the State Highway Account in the State Transportation Fund.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 733.)

671.5.
  

(a) The department shall either approve or deny an application from an applicant for an encroachment permit within 60 days of receiving a completed application, as determined by the department. An application for an encroachment permit is complete when all other statutory requirements, including the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), have been complied with. The department’s failure to notify the applicant within that 60-day period that the permit is denied shall be deemed to constitute approval of the permit. Thereafter, upon notifying the department, the applicant may act in accordance with its permit application, as if the permit had been approved.

(b) If the department denies an application for an encroachment permit, it shall, at the time of notifying the applicant of the denial, furnish to the applicant a detailed explanation of the reason for the denial.

(c) The department shall adopt regulations prescribing procedures for an applicant to appeal to the director for a final determination of the department’s denial of an application. The appeal shall be made in writing to the director. There shall be a final written determination by the director within 60 calendar days after receipt of the applicant’s written appeal. The adopted regulations shall require the appellant to pay to the department a fee of not more than 50 percent of the estimated administrative cost to the department of conducting the appeal.

(d) Nothing in this section precludes an applicant and the department from mutually agreeing to an extension of any time limit provided by this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 796, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1994.)

672.
  

Any permit issued under the provisions of this chapter may provide that the permittee will pay the entire expense of replacing the highway in as good condition as before, and may provide such other conditions as to the location and the manner in which the work is to be done as the department finds necessary for the protection of the highway.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

673.
  

(a) Any permit issued to a permittee of the class specified in Section 678 shall contain a provision that in the event the future improvement of the highway necessitates the relocation or removal of the encroachment the permittee will relocate or remove the same at the permittee’s sole expense. In that event, the department shall serve on the permittee its written demand specifying the place of relocation, or that the encroachment is to be removed from the highway, and specifying a reasonable time within which the work of relocation is to be commenced. The permittee shall commence the relocation or removal within the time specified in that demand and thereafter diligently prosecute until completion.

(b) All permits, other than those issued to permittees of the class specified in Section 678 or the class specified in Section 680, are revocable on five days’ notice and the encroachment shall be removed or relocated as may be specified by the department in the notice revoking the permit and within the time specified by the department, which time shall not be less than five days, unless the permit so provides.

(c) The department may waive the requirement of subdivision (a) that the permittee bear the sole expense of relocating or removing an encroachment, if the encroachment consists of a track or roadway that serves as an exclusive public mass transit guideway owned, operated, and maintained by a publicly owned mass transit authority.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 152, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2002.)

674.
  

The department may, but is not required to, supervise any work done under any permit, issued under the provisions of this chapter in which event the permittee shall, in addition to any fees charged pursuant to Section 671.1, pay the reasonable cost of such supervision to the department, but no cost of supervision shall be charged by the department to any public corporation.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 733.)

675.
  

(a) Permittees may excavate openings in state highways to make repairs in cases of emergency requiring immediate action. In such cases, the appropriate representative of the department shall be promptly notified of any such action, and such permittee, at his own expense, shall immediately replace the state highway in as good condition as before such excavation.

(b) A city or public corporation supplying water service to its inhabitants may, within its corporate limits, excavate a state highway without a permit in cases of emergency requiring immediate action. In such cases, the state highway shall, at the expense of the city or public corporation, be replaced in as good condition as before such excavation.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 777, Sec. 70.)

676.
  

The department may delegate to any city any of the department’s powers, duties, and authority, other than those of approval, under this chapter as to any State highway, or any part thereof, within such city, and may withdraw any such delegation of authority.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

677.
  

Before granting a permit under any provision of this chapter, the department may require the applicant to file with the department a satisfactory bond payable to the people of the State of California in such amount as the department deems sufficient, conditioned on the proper compliance by the permittee with the provisions of this article.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

678.
  

Except as otherwise provided in this section, such a bond shall not be required of any county, city, public corporation or political subdivision which is authorized by law to establish or maintain any works or facilities in, under or over any public highway, nor shall the application of any such governmental unit for a permit be denied. Every such applicant is entitled as a matter of right to a permit, but is otherwise subject to the provisions of this article and to all reasonable conditions and provisions made by the department in any such permit.

The department may require of any such applicant a bond in a sum not to exceed twenty thousand dollars, if such applicant has in fact prior to such application failed to comply with the provisions of this article or with the provisions of a previous permit.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

679.
  

Any city, municipal utility district, municipal water district or metropolitan water district is entitled to a blanket permit, renewable annually, for the installation of its service connections and for ordinary maintenance of its facilities located or installed in State highways; but the department may revoke any such blanket permit if the permittee fails to comply with the provisions of this article. When any such permit is revoked in a proper case such municipal utility district, municipal water district or metropolitan water district is entitled to a permit only on furnishing a bond as provided in section 677.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

680.
  

Whenever a franchise is granted by any county or city in any public highway which has been or is subsequently constituted a state highway, the department may enforce any obligations of the grantee or holder of the franchise with respect to the repair of the highway. The department may require any person who has placed and maintained any pole, pole line, pipe, pipeline, conduit, street railroad tracks, or other structures or facilities upon any state highway, whether under that or any franchise, to move it at his or her own cost and expense to such different location in the highway as is specified in a written demand of the department, whenever necessary to insure the safety of the traveling public or to permit the improvement of the highway. However, no such change of location shall be required for a temporary purpose. The department shall specify in the demand a reasonable time within which the work of relocation shall be commenced and the grantee or owner shall commence the relocation within the time specified in the demand and thereafter diligently prosecute it to completion.

In case the owner fails to comply with any such demand, the encroachments specified in the demand become subject to Article 3 (commencing with Section 720), except that no further notice is required.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 156.)

680.5.
  

The department and any utility as defined in Section 700 may enter into a contract for or apportioning the obligations and costs to be borne by each party for the removal, relocation or repair of facilities whenever necessary to accommodate any or all state highways which are not freeways, to the same extent and in the same manner as is authorized for state freeways in Section 707.5.

(Added by Stats. 1955, Ch. 98.)

681.
  

Whenever a franchise shall have been granted by any county or city in any public highway heretofore or hereafter constituted a State highway, all of the rights of the grantor under such franchise, including the right to collect and receive tolls, charges or payments thereunder other than the rights transferred to the department by section 680, are reserved to such county or city.

(Added by Stats. 1935, Ch. 631.)

682.
  

Every city and county shall have power to grant franchises authorizing the exercise of any privilege in, along, across, under, through, over, and upon any state highway, or portion thereof, within its boundaries to the extent and in the manner that it shall have power to grant franchises authorizing the exercise of such privilege in, over, and upon city streets, or county highways, as the case may be, subject to the conditions and limitations provided in Sections 682 to 695, inclusive.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 708.)

682.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 731, the department may issue permits to counties and cities for the use of highways within their boundaries and to community-based nonprofit corporations for special events upon terms and conditions relating to the safe and orderly movement of traffic that the department finds necessary. A city or county or a community-based nonprofit corporation issued a permit may allow or conduct vending on or adjacent to the highway immediately preceding, during, or immediately following the permitted special event in accordance with the terms and conditions specified by the department in the permit.

Not more than four permits for the same activity at the same location shall be issued to any city or county or community-based nonprofit corporation in any calendar year. No permit shall be issued to a community-based nonprofit corporation unless that corporation has been issued an acknowledgment by the city or county within which the special event is proposed to be conducted.

Neither the department, in issuing permits for the use of highways, nor the city or county, in issuing acknowledgments, shall be responsible for the conduct or operation of the permitted activity and shall require the permit applicant to agree to indemnify and hold harmless the state and the city or county against any and all claims arising out of any activity for which the permit is issued.

(b) As used in this section,“community-based nonprofit corporation” means a corporation formed under the Nonprofit Corporation Law (Division 2 (commencing with Section 5000) of the Corporations Code) having an office located within the county within which the special event is to be held.

(c) As used in this section, “acknowledgment” means the issuance by a city or county to a community-based nonprofit corporation of a special event permit, road closure or detour permit, or letter of permission authorizing the special event for which a permit from the department is sought.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 17, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1993.)

683.
  

No franchise of any kind shall be granted in respect to any State highway or portion thereof which has been established as a freeway pursuant to the provisions of this code without the prior approval in writing of the department, except for crossings as provided in Section 685.

(Added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 977.)

684.
  

No franchise shall be granted for the installation of street or other railroad tracks or the operation of street railroads or other railroads on any State highway without the prior approval in writing of the department except for crossings as provided in Section 685.

(Added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 977.)

685.
  

In case a franchise is granted for the exercise of a privilege in a city street or county highway, approval of the department shall not be required in respect to intersections. Franchises may be granted extending across the common area of the intersection without any such approval. In cases where the grades of the state highway and the city street or county highway are separated, the franchise shall be exercised only on the city street or county highway.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 708.)

686.
  

The department shall approve any franchise submitted for approval pursuant to Section 683 or 684 unless the department finds on the facts of the particular case that the exercise of the privilege proposed to be granted is incompatible with the primary use of the freeway or other State highway for vehicular traffic or with its improvement to serve its primary use.

(Added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 977.)

687.
  

Franchises may be granted under this article separately as to any state highway, or portion thereof, or in respect to both state highways, or portions thereof, and city streets or county highways.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 708.)

688.
  

In cases in which the approval of the department is not required, the city or county shall give notice to the department of any application for a franchise affecting a state highway at the time of the filing of such application by any applicant, so that the department may present to the legislative body of the city or county, as the case may be, any considerations by it deemed to be important. Such notice shall be given to the appropriate district director.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 777, Sec. 71.)

689.
  

No privilege shall be exercised in any state highway pursuant to any franchise granted under this article until a copy of such franchise, certified by the clerk of the grantor city or county, has been filed with the department. This may be filed with the district director.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 777, Sec. 72.)

690.
  

The department shall have the power to prescribe the location, within the limits of the State highway, of any physical property to be constructed or installed in, under, over or upon such State highway pursuant to any such franchise. Before constructing or installing any such physical property in any State highway, the holder of the franchise shall apply to the department, or its authorized agent, for a permit, and the department shall issue a permit, in which it may impose reasonable conditions as to location, method and manner of construction. All such physical property is subject to relocation in the cases and in the manner provided in Section 680.

(Added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 977.)

691.
  

In the exercise within the limits of any State highway of any privilege granted by franchise, the holder thereof shall at all times be subject to all reasonable orders, rules and regulations of the department for the protection, maintenance or improvement of the highway or the safe and convenient use thereof as a public highway.

(Added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 977.)

692.
  

Independently of or jointly with the grantor city or county, the department may enforce any obligation imposed by any franchise granted pursuant to Section 682 relating to the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, or maintenance of any state highway or portion thereof.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 708.)

693.
  

All sums payable by the grantee under any such franchise shall be paid to the grantor city or county.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 708.)

694.
  

All franchises heretofore granted by any city for the exercise of any privilege in any State highway, are hereby fully validated, legalized and made effective, to the same extent that such city at the time of making the grant had power to grant a franchise authorizing the exercise of such privilege in, over and upon city streets.

(Added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 977.)

695.
  

Failure of the department to act upon any application for approval under Sections 683 or 684 within 90 days after the filing of such application with the department shall be deemed to constitute approval thereof. The time herein prescribed may be extended with the consent of the grantor city or county.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 708.)

SHCStreets and Highways Code - SHC2