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April 01, 2023
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Utility Permit Regulations and Requirements

Utility permits are issued for work related to ‘utilities’ which need to occur in the road right-of-way.  Most of our permits are issued to utility companies or their contractors to maintain their systems.  Examples of these include Avista, Pacific Power, CenturyLink, and Charter.  The focus of this permit is to ensure the safety of workers, the public and the utility infrastructure itself.  Installation of utilities in the right-of-way can be complex with standards and specifications in place to ensure a quality installation.  

Do I Need This Permit?

Common examples of when to obtain a permit include:

  • Burying a utility line such as water, electric, gas, or fiber/data
  • Attaching overhead cables or wire to poles

 Summary of Process

How to Start - Call us or come into our office with the information noted in the 3rd bullet of the 'Steps' section below.


  • Contact Roads to ensure your road is in fact a county road (as opposed to city or state)
  • Consult with our permit staff to determine if a utility permit is necessary and the work is allowed.
  • Make application for the permit in person at our office or over the phone.  Necessary information includes:
    • Contact information for utility owner as well as contractor performing the work.
    • Facility location information such as address and other identifying marking(s).
    • Daytime telephone number.
    • Type of facility requested and map/sketch if required.
    • Legal description (township, range, section, and tax lot number) if utility is property specific.
    • Permits require photo documentation of the condition of the area prior to any work being done.
  • Sign a 'signature page' which is your authorization to proceed through the permitting process (sample form can be viewed from the PDF link below).
  • If approved, your permit will then be emailed/mailed to you (or faxed if you prefer).
  • Your permit may include several standards, specifications and regulations which must be met.  See below for these detailed documents.
  • Once work is complete and inspected and found to be in conformance to all standards the permit will be filed for reference in our office.
  • NOTE: When a permit is issued and includes referenced plans provided by the permit applicant and prepared by an Oregon Registered Professional Engineer, the permit applicant shall retain the stamping engineer as the Engineer of Record (EOR) for the work covered by the permit.  If the stamping engineer is not retained by the permit applicant, other arrangements will have to be made by the permit applicant to provide an alternate EOR.  The arrangements for an alternate EOR must be approved by the County Engineer.

Fee(s) – there is no charge to obtain a utility permit.  NOTE: permits require photo or video documentation to be submitted which documents the condition of the area prior to any work being done.  If you desire for Jackson County Roads to capture this information for you, there is a charge for that service based on the size of your project.  One hour (small) - $123; two hour (medium) - $246; seven hour (large) - $864. Fees are subject to change during annual fee update process.

Timing - your initial contact with our office will begin the process of consulting with our permit staff.  Depending on the scope of the request it may be possible to develop a plan of approach over the phone in a short time.  In other complex cases there may be a site visit required to review the request.  Once the permit application process is underway it can take up to two weeks to issue you a permit depending on complexity and other variables.  Your work can then begin when you have the permit in hand.

Tips & Tricks

  • Be sure to start the process well ahead of when you want the project to be completed.
  • Gather necessary information before you come into our office or call - see details above.
  • Don't forget to "Call Before You Dig" - safety first!
  • Be sure to read your permit carefully and note all requirements.
  • Permits are only valid for the project scope and extent as described in the permit.