Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Rental of Public Structures in Public Space.


§ 10–1141.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Conduit” means any pipe or other hollow protective sleeve through which cable may be inserted.

(2) “Private structure” means all privately-owned fixtures on public space or in the public rights of way.

(3) “Public rights of way” means the surface, the air space above the surface (including air space immediately adjacent to a private structure located on public space or in a public right of way), and the area below the surface of any public street, bridge, tunnel, highway, lane, path, alley, sidewalk, or boulevard used pursuant to District law for public services, including rail lines and electric, natural gas, water, sewer, and communication utilities.

(4) “Public space” means all the publicly-owned property between the property lines on a street, park, or other public property as such property lines are shown on the records of the District, and includes any roadway, tree space, sidewalk, or parking between such property lines.

(5) “Public structure” means all publicly-owned fixtures on the public space and in the public rights of way.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 601, 43 DCR 4569; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 7253, 62 DCR 10905.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1071.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 9-111.01a.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 added “used pursuant to District law for public services, including rail lines and electric, natural gas, water, sewer, and communication utilities” in (3).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of subchapter, see §§ 1001 through 1006 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-302, July 25, 1996, 43 DCR 4181), §§ 601 through 606 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-302, July 25, 1996, 43 DCR 4181), §§ 601 through 606 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-429, October 29, 1996, 43 DCR 6151), and §§ 601-606 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Congressional Adjournment Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-2, February 19, 1997, 44 DCR 1590).

For temporary addition of sections regarding the authorization of the rental of public structures in public space and public right of way by the Mayor, see §§ 2 through 4 of the Rental of Public Structures in Public Space Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-138, August 15, 1995, 42 DCR 4725) and §§ 2 through 4 of the Rental of Public Structures in Public Space Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-143, October 23, 1995, 42 DCR 6035).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7223 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) additions, see §§ 2 to 4 of Rental of Public Structures in Public Space Temporary Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 11-76, December 21, 1995, law notification 43 DCR 278).

For temporary (225 day) additions, see §§ 601 to 606 of Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Temporary Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Law 11-226, April 9, 1997, law notification 44 DCR 2584).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Law 11-138, the “Rental of Public Structures in the Public Space Emergency Act of 1995”, see Mayor’s Order 95-117, September 12, 1995.


§ 10–1141.02. Applicability.

Sections 10-1141.03 to 10-1141.05 shall not apply to:

(1) The rental of:

(A) Public space for use as a sidewalk cafe, enclosed flower or fruit stand, or for other retail purposes pursuant to §§ 10-1101.01 through 10-1102.02;

(B) Space for a vault pursuant to §§ 10-1103.01 through 10-1104.01; or

(C) Airspace for buildings, walkways, or other structures designed to be occupied by people on a regular basis, pursuant to subchapter II of this chapter; or

(2) The occupation or use of public space or public streets by a vendor pursuant to a license to vend which has been issued to the vendor by the Mayor pursuant to Chapter 1A of Title 37 [§ 37-131.01 et seq.].


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 602, 43 DCR 4569; Oct. 22, 2009, D.C. Law 18-71, § 12(b), 56 DCR 6619.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1072.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-71, in par. (2), substituted “by the Mayor pursuant to Chapter 1A of Title 37” for “pursuant to § 47-2834”.

Emergency Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 10-1141.01.

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 10(b) of Vending Regulation Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-322, March 19, 2008, 55 DCR 3445).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 10(b) of Vending Regulation Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-9, January 29, 2009, 56 DCR 1638).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 10(b) of Vending Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-47, April 27, 2009, 56 DCR 3574).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 11(b) of Extension of Time to Dispose of the Old Congress Heights School Temporary Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Law 17-172, June 5, 2008, law notification 55 DCR 7258).

Section 10(b) of D.C. Law 18-4 substituted “issued on or after March 19, 2008” for “pursuant to paragraph 36 of section 7 of An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and three and for other purposes, approved July 1, 1902 (32 Stat. 627; D.C. Code § 47-2834)”.

Section 12(b) of D.C. Law 18-4 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 10-1141.01.


§ 10–1141.03. Permits for the occupation of public space, public rights of way, and public structures.

(a) The Mayor may issue permits to occupy or otherwise use public rights of way, public space, and public structures pursuant to this subchapter for any purpose, including the use of the foregoing for conduits, including conduits which occupy public space, or a public right of way on April 9, 1997.

(b) The Mayor may issue permits to occupy public space, public rights of way, and public structures pursuant to this subchapter without regard to whether the permittee owns the property abutting the public space, public right of way, or public structure which is the subject of the permit. The permits shall be subject to the terms and conditions set forth in any agreement entered into by the Mayor and the permittee to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, and to any regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter.

(c) The Mayor may revoke any permit issued pursuant to this subchapter at any time. In the event the Mayor requires any permittee to vacate all or any part of any public space, public right of way, or public structure for which a permit charge has been paid, the Mayor shall refund as much of the prepaid charge as may represent that portion of the permit which has been revoked.

(d) Public space, public rights of way, and public structures which are the subject of a permit issued pursuant to this subchapter may be leased or subleased only with the express consent of the Mayor.

(e) Upon the expiration or revocation of any permit issued pursuant to this subchapter, the Mayor may require, at the expense of the permittee, the immediate removal of any apparatus, structure, or device affixed or erected in public space or on a public right of way, or on a public structure, and the restoration of the public space, public right of way, or public structure to its condition prior to the issuance of the permit. If the permittee does not comply with the requirements of this section, the Mayor may remove any of the permittee’s property and the cost of such removal shall be borne by the permittee.

(f) The Mayor shall require permittees blocking a sidewalk, bicycle lane, or other pedestrian or bicycle path to provide a safe accommodation for pedestrians and bicyclists.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 603, 43 DCR 4569; Dec. 13, 2013, D.C. Law 20-49, § 3(a), 60 DCR 15148.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1073.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 10-1141.02, § 10-1141.04, and § 39-501.04.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-49 added (f).

Emergency Legislation

See notes to § 7-1071.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes to § 10-1141.01.

Section 2 of D.C. Law 19-70 added a section to read as follows:

“Sec. 603a. Waiver or reduction of permit fees for the occupation of public space, public rights of way, and public structures.

“The Mayor may waive or reduce any permit fee, except for the application fee, to occupy or otherwise use public space, public rights of way, or public structures for a project that:

“(1) Is conducted by a Business Improvement District or Community Improvement District established pursuant to the Business Improvement Districts Act of 1996, effective May 29, 1996 (D.C. Law 11-134; D.C. Official Code § 2-1215.01 et seq.);

“(2) In the Mayor’s determination, serves a public benefit;

“(3) Does not impose costs on the District government; and

“(4) Does not involve commercial sponsorship.”.

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 19-70 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Act 11-429, the “Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1996”, see Mayor’s Order 96-175, December 9, 1996 ( 43 DCR 6981).


§ 10–1141.03a. Waiver or reduction of permit fees for the occupation of public space, public rights of way, and public structures.

(a) The Mayor may waive or reduce any permit fee, except for the application fee, to occupy or otherwise use public space, public rights of way, or public structures for a project that:

(1) Is conducted by a civic association or a Business Improvement District or Community Improvement District established pursuant to subchapter VIII of Chapter 12 of Title 2 [§ 2-1215.01 et seq.];

(2) In the Mayor’s determination, serves a public benefit;

(3) Does not impose costs on the District government; and

(4) Does not involve commercial sponsorship.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term "civic association" means an organization that is:

(1) Comprised of residents of the community within which the public space, public right of way, or public structure is located;

(2) Operated primarily for the improvement of the community within which the public space, public right of way, or public structure is located; and

(3) Exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, approved August 16, 1954 (68A Stat. 163; 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3), (4)).


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 603a; as added Dec. 2, 2011, D.C. Law 19-48, § 2, 58 DCR 8943; Oct. 8. 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6162, 63 DCR 10775; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 1152, 64 DCR 7652; July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-124, § 110(b), 65 DCR 5091.)

Applicability

Section 301 of D.C. Law 22-124 provided that the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 22-124 shall apply as of October 1, 2017.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1152 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1152 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Civic Associations Public Space Permit Fee Waiver Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-372, Apr. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 6852).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 2 of Public Space Permit Fee Waiver Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-163, October 11, 2011, 58 DCR 8892).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Civic Associations Public Space Permit Fee Waiver Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-129, July 1, 2016, 63 DCR 7106).


§ 10–1141.04. Rulemaking.

The Mayor shall issue regulations to implement this subchapter. These regulations shall:

(1) Provide for a nonrefundable application fee to be paid by any party applying for a permit pursuant to this subchapter. The fee shall be set in an amount to recoup some or all of the costs to the District of Columbia for reviewing the application;

(2) Provide for the payment of a nondiscriminatory, fair, and equitable charge for any permit issued in accordance with this subchapter. The Mayor may allow a permittee to pay a fixed charge for a set period of time, pay an amount based upon the amount of the public right of way or public space used or occupied, pay an amount based upon a revenue sharing formula, or provide in-kind services to the District in lieu of a monetary payment, or the Mayor may require a permittee to pay a combination of these items. The regulations may also provide for interest to be charged on late payments of any charges imposed pursuant to this subchapter;

(3) Generally establish categories of use and the extent to which public space, public rights of way, and public structures may be used;

(4) Establish and regulate the process through which any impact, modification, or damage to the public space, public-rights-of-way, or public structures may be compensated, which may include the establishment of user fees, including impact and other direct-use fees, charges, and penalties. The regulations shall include provisions governing the appropriate bonding and insurance requirements which must be satisfied by any party who receives a permit issued pursuant to this subchapter, and shall provide for any permittee to provide comprehensive indemnification to the District for any costs or damages which it incurs as a result of actions taken by the permittee in connection with the exercise of any rights or privileges granted in any permit issued pursuant to this subchapter;

(5) Provide for the payment of a technology charge or other surcharge to be added to the fee for each permit issued under § 10-1141.03;

(6) Treat the blockage of a sidewalk, bicycle lane, or other pedestrian or bicycle path the same as the closure of a lane of traffic, and in these cases apply similar regulations as that of a closure of a lane of traffic for each permit issued under § 10-1141.03;

(7) Define “safe accommodation,” as it appears in paragraph (8) of this section and in § 10-1141.03, in consultation with the Bicycle Advisory Council and the Pedestrian Advisory Council, which definition shall apply to all permittees and shall ensure the safe and expedient passage of pedestrians and bicyclists; and

(8) Require permittees to submit for approval by the Mayor a traffic management plan that addresses safe accommodation for pedestrians and bicyclists before the issuance of a permit by the Mayor under § 10-1141.03.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 604, 43 DCR 4569; Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 504, 47 DCR 6308; Nov. 13, 2003, D.C. Law 15-39, § 624, 50 DCR 5668; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 6(a), 51 DCR 881; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 6012, 57 DCR 6242; Dec. 13, 2013, D.C. Law 20-49, § 3(b), 60 DCR 15148.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1074.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-172 added par. (5), and rewrote par. (4), which previously read:

“(4) Establish and regulate the process through which any modification or damage to the public space, public rights of way, or public structure may be compensated. The regulations shall include provisions governing the appropriate bonding and insurance requirements which must be satisfied by any party who receives a permit issued pursuant to this subchapter, and shall provide for any permittee to provide comprehensive indemnification to the District for any costs or damages which it incurs as a result of actions taken by the permittee in connection with the exercise of any rights or privileges granted in any permit issued pursuant to this subchapter.”

Section 503 of D.C. Law 13-172 provided: “The amendments made by section 502 of this title to the public rights-of-way rental fees do not preclude the Mayor from further amending these same fees as authorized in section 604 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Act of 1996 provided that the amended rates, when taken together with the other user fees, charges, and penalties collected pursuant to that section and D.C. Code § 47-2718 do not adversely impact the positive fiscal impact identified in section 506 of this title.”

D.C. Law 15-39 repealed par. (5) which had read as follows: “(5) The first $30 million dollars of annual revenue derived from the collection of the public rights-of-way user fees, charges, and penalties established pursuant to this section shall be dedicated to the Department of Public Works for expenditures related to street and alley repairs and maintenance that would otherwise be paid out of the General Fund. Any revenues in excess of $30 million annually from the collection of these public rights-of-way user fees, charges, and penalties shall be dedicated to the District of Columbia Highway Trust Fund”.

D.C. Law 15-105, in par. (5), validated a previously made technical corrections.

D.C. Law 18-223 deleted “and” from the end of par. (3); substituted “; and” for a period at the end of par. (4); and added par. (5).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-49 added (6), (7) and (8); and made related changes.

Emergency Legislation

See notes to § 10-1141.01.

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, and statement of continuing amendment authorization, see §§ 503 and 504 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see §§ 503 and 504 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 624 of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-105, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5613).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 624 of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-149, September 22, 2003, 50 DCR 8360).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6012 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).

Short Title

Short title: Section 6011 of D.C. Law 18-223 provided that subtitle B of title VI of the act may be cited as the “Public Space Permit Enhancement Amendment Act of 2010”.


§ 10–1141.04a. Dedication of public rights-of-way user fees, charges, and penalties. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 604a; as added Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 504(b), 47 DCR 6308; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 6(b), 51 DCR 881; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 85(a), 52 DCR 2638; Apr. 7, 2006, D.C. Law 16-91, § 112, 52 DCR 10637.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 3 of Highway Trust Fund and District Department of Transportation Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-206, November 17, 2005, 52 DCR 10524).


§ 10–1141.05. Inspection and audit of books and records.

The Mayor shall require a permittee to maintain specific books, records, and accounts. All books, records, and accounts of any permittee may be inspected by the Mayor, and may be inspected and audited by the District of Columbia Inspector General in order to determine whether the permittee has paid or will pay all amounts properly owed under any permit issued pursuant to this subchapter.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 605, 43 DCR 4569.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1075.

Emergency Legislation

See notes to § 10-1141.01.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 10-1141.01.


§ 10–1141.06. Surcharge authorization.

Each public utility company regulated by the Public Service Commission shall recover from its utility customers all lease payments which it pays to the District of Columbia pursuant to this title through a surcharge mechanism applied to each unit of sale and the surcharge amount shall be separately stated on each customer’s monthly billing statement.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 606, 43 DCR 4569.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1076.

Emergency Legislation

See notes to § 10-1141.01.

Temporary Legislation

See Historical and Statutory Notes to § 10-1141.01.


§ 10–1141.07. Enforcement.

(a) Civil fines and penalties may be imposed as sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this subchapter or any rules issued in accordance with this subchapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.] (“Civil Infractions Act”). Enforcement and adjudication of an infraction shall be pursuant to the Civil Infractions Act.

(b) The Mayor may also enforce this subchapter or any rules issued in accordance with this subchapter pursuant to § 50-921.19(a), (c), (d), (e), and (f).


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 607; as added Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-207, § 8, 61 DCR 12690.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-207: Section 12(a) of D.C. Law 20-207 provided that §§ 2(a), 2(b)(1), 2(b)(2)(A), 2(b)(2)(B), 2(b)(2)(C), 2(c), 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 shall apply as of March 11, 2015.