The Bureau of Engineering (BOE), commonly known as Public Works, is the department within a jurisdiction that is responsible for the oversight and approval of construction permits located within the city’s public right-of-way. The BOE covers projects that may affect city streets, lanes, alleys, parkways, sidewalks, and other city facilities. Among other things, conducting work on main sewer lines, easements, or parking lots will often trigger a review with the BOE department. Keep in mind that all jurisdictions and municipalities have different requirements for BOE reviews.
WHAT TYPES OF THINGS ARE THE BOE LOOKING AT?
While the Building Department often analyzes the project as a whole, the Bureau of Engineering takes a close look a project specifications as it applies to sanitation, water waste, sewer lines, sidewalks, landscaping, environmental quality, etc. Some of the specific items the BOE looks at includes:
• Site conditions
• Erosion control measures
• Water retention
• Grading plans
• Pollution control
• Landscape plans
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR GETTING BOE APPROVAL?
Typically an applicant can make an appointment to submit their plans and application to the Bureau of Engineering. They will need to provide civil drawings, soil reports, fault study reports, Surface Water Intake Protection Program (SWIPP) reports, and/or any other required material. If a jurisdiction permits, we recommend submitting concurrently to the BOE and other building departments. Generally, BOE approval takes longer than other building departments due to its complexity. Depending on the scale of the project and the jurisdiction that you’re in, it is generally wise to budget for several months for the initial review process with the BOE.