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Public Way Use

Application Package​


This is the City of Chicago Grant of Privilege Application Package. Permits for all privilege types, other than Sidewalk Cafes, have a five (5) year term, and are renewable.

Completed applications may be submitted via mail, or in person, to:


City of Chicago

Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

Small Business Center – Public Way Use Unit

City Hall, Room 800

121 N. LaSalle St.

Chicago, IL 60602

What is “Using the Public Way”?

Chicago’s streets, sidewalks, alleys and parkways are parts of the “public way.” In order for a business or property owner to occupy, use or otherwise encroach on, over or under the public way, a Public Way Use Permit or other specialized Permit is required under Chapter 10-28 of the Municipal Code of Chicago (“Code”). Common examples of items that encroach upon the public way, for which a Public Way Use Permit or other specialized Permit is required, are listed below.

Over Street Level (Above Grade):

Canopies/Awnings, Signs, Light Fixtures, Balconies, Banners

On Street Level (At Grade):

Planters, Decorative Pavers, Bollards, Windscreens, Kiosks, Sidewalk Cafés

Under Street Level (Below Grade):

Vaults, Conduit (encased wiring), Caissons (foundation), Earth Retention Systems, Irrigation Systems

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