Maps and Records



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


What is the process to change the status of a Right-of Way?

Important Notice*  Fees associated with processing any change of status within a Right-of-Way are as followed:

  • Vacation of Right-of-Way Fee - $500 per 100 linear feet of right-of-way vacated.  Minimum of $500 as a review fee per application. 
  • Encroachments, Berm Use, and Temporary Closings- A $400 flat fee is applied as a review fee per application.  
  • Payments are required to be paid prior to review completion.  
  • Paid fees are not a transaction for approval.  Fees are to be paid to cover the cost of the application review.  


Need help completing your application?  See this Application Guide for assistance!


Application Form - Please read the submission requirements before submitting the application form. 

  • Applicants are required to sign up for a City of Detroit Right of Way Management account.   Once signed up select Department of Public Works to enter the application menu.  To request a change of status for a right-of-way or an encroachment into the right-of-way applicants must petition to City Council.   Select the Petition option on the application menu, review the submission requirements, and select Apply Online.  
  • Any comments provided during the review will be sent to the applicant using an automated email from the City of Detroit Right of Way Management notification system.  Applicants will need to respond to comments when necessary to prevent being denied due to an inactive status.   
  • You will also receive an email asking you to activate your OpenGov account.  Once activated you will be able to monitor your petition progress and communicate directly with reviewers.


Submission Requirements:

  • These items should be submitted along with other relevant documents. Failure to provide required items may cause the application to be denied.  
  • Letter of Intent - A letter addressed to the City  of Detroit that includes:
    • The name/contact info of the applicant (if the applicant is not the property owner the letter should establish that the applicant is representing the property owner)
    • A detailed summary of the proposal


  • Vacations 
    • Petition Form.  Any vacation of right of way requires proper community engagement with all adjacent land owners.  Applicants must obtain a letter of support from all adjacent land owners before the application can be accepted.  Blocks that are residential only, may obtain signatures of  2/3 or 66% of adjacent residential owners. For residential blocks please download the petition form to collect signatures from residential owners. 
    • If the proposal for vacation results in the creation of a dead-end right of way or alley the application will be rejected.  


  • Encroachments
    • A site plan 
      • The site plan should be created specifically for the public space 
      • The site plan is required to contain platted lots 
      • The site plan is required to contain all relevant measurements.  All encroachments require a detailed description in the Letter of Intent.  Details shall include a 3-dimensional description (Length, width, height/depth) and describe distances from property lines.  Below grade encroachments must describe design materials, pipe or conduit sizes, invert level, and any relevant information used to define the project.  Plans submitted with insufficient details will not be accepted.  
    • Related Permit Information: Encroachments that also require a permit through the City Engineering Division must be submitted at the same time as the permit submission.   Encroachments requiring a permit will not be reviewed in advance of the permit submission.   


  • 'Outright' Vacation 
    • 'Outright' vacations require the abandonment or relocating of public utilities.  The applicant must provide a utility plan showing how assets located in the street/alley will be changed (abandoned, relocated, or new easements to access utility assets).  


  • Dedications of right of way and Public Access Easements:
    • Petitioner must present a land agreement for any land being dedicated to the City of Detroit for the purpose of becomes a public right-of-way.  Land dedicated to public right-of-way shall be split from the owners parcel.  The City shall certify the dedicated right-of-way with the State of Michigan and use state issued road funding to maintain the right-of-way.    
    • Petitioner will be advised if an Environmental Assessment will be required prior to the City accepting title to lands being dedicated. 
    • Public access easements allow public use of private land.  Petitioners must provide a recorded copy of the property title showing ownership of the land and a description of the proposed public access easement that will encumber the title.  Public access easements remain taxable upon the parcel.  The owner retains responsibility to maintain the public access easements to the standards established by the City.  


Incomplete applications will not be accepted. 


DPW is tasked with conducting a review for all requests to change the status of a right-of-way.  During the review a notice will be sent out to various utility companies and City Departments.  Please allow 6 to 10 weeks for the completion of this review.   Upon completion of the review a recommendation will be made to City Council and a hearing will be scheduled. 

New Street Address Request

Request assignment of a new street address for City of Detroit property.  Street must be a public right of way.  The City does not assign addresses for private roads.  Submit the request using the link below and a member of the Maps and Records team will respond to you using the contact method provided. 


Please follow the link provided to submit a request form.


Researching historic addresses?  Did you know that in 1921 the City of Detroit executed an address re-numbering plan?  Addresses across the City were changed using a new numbering order.  If you are trying to locate a property address that existed prior to 1921, see this Link to see what changed.  

Maps and Records for public access

City of Detroit: Street and Alley Vacations

This layer indicates all streets and alleys vacated 'Outright' and vacated with conversion to utility easement. This layer is updated on a regular basis. 


 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. 



City of Detroit: Street and Alley Openings -

This layer indicates City of Detroit street widenings or right-of-way dedicated to the City of Detroit for public use.



City of Detroit: Act 51 - Select link > Read Description > Select to Open in Map Viewer.

This layer is the standard road map for the City of Detroit as recognized by the State of Michigan Department.


City of Detroit: Encroachments 

This layer indicates areas where adjacent owners are encroaching into the public right-of-way.  


Right of Way Contamination Surveys

This layer shows locations where soil testing has occurred.  Select on the point feature to open the pop-up window and gain access to a downloadable version of the report.  


Downtown Detroit Underground Areaways - Select link > Read Description > Select to Open in Map Viewer.

This layer shows the location of underground areas, tunnels, basements in the Downtown Detroit area which encroach into the public right-of-way.  



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]