Department of Public Works - Maps and Records Bureau

Street and Alley Easements, Encroachments, and Vacations


Maintenance Agreements



Status changes in the public right-of-way (streets and alleys) require the resolution/approval of City Council and may require additional permits. The types of status changes include:

  • Berm Use
  • Conversion to Easement
  • Dedication
  • Encroachment
  • Outright Vacation
  • Temporary Closing


Select link for a Definition of Terms


If you are thinking about changing the status of a right-of-way please see this Petition to Vacate Right-of-Way Guidebook


Please note that we are no longer accepting requests to vacate individual residential alleys.   As of the fall of 2020 our team has started a review of Detroit's 208 unique neighborhoods with the intention of identifying which alleys are eligible to be vacated.  Upon the completion of each neighborhood review a notice will be sent out to property owners to inform them that their property abuts an alley that has been selected for vacation.  Property owners will have the right to support or object to the vacation at the City Council hearing when the resolution is proposed.  


Currently under review:  Bagley Neighborhood


Please follow the link below to request a consultation for your project.  You will be contacted to schedule a meeting either by phone or in person to discuss planning by a member of the Maps and Records Team.  Please provide a description of the right-of-way and the reason for the request.


Submission Packet Documents:

Petition Form

Maintenance Agreements



 Download Cartographic Surveys - Select link > Read Description > Select to Open in Map Viewer.

This layer acts as an index for downloadable Cartographic Surveys.  Each feature contains an attachment available for download. The attached Cartographic Surveys belong to a collection created between 1948 and 1958. This collection visualizes platted subdivisions and non-platted sections within the City of Detroit.  The Cartographic Surveys do not indicate whether streets or alleys have been vacated, and does not include streets or alleys that have been dedicated after 1958. 


If you have further questions regarding right-of-way changes, contact the DPW-City Engineering Division, Maps & Records Bureau, at (313) 224-3970.  [email protected]