Table of Contents Highway Encroachments

Highway Encroachments

On occasion structures will be found to be encroaching on highway rights of way from adjacent properties.  Most often these structures are corners of houses, garages, barns, fences, and signs.  However, other structures are such as old underground gasoline storage tanks, tourist information booths, telecommunication kiosks, fire department storage buildings, and motel buildings have been found on highway rights of way.  These encroachments are usually discovered when a new property owner commissions a survey of the lot for a mortgage, a property is subdivided, or upon inspection by a Ministry employee.

An encroachment is an illegal intrusion onto the highway right of way constructed without Ministry of Transportation permission and which would not normally be issued a permit prior to construction.  The encroachment will diminish the width or area of the right of way; however, it may or may not cause an obstruction.  Usually these encroachments are located on the edge of the right of way, not on the traveled portion of the highway, and encompass only a portion of the structure.  Rarely does the entire structure encroach onto the highway right of way.

Existing Buildings

If the new road dedication for a proposed subdivision will cause an existing building to encroach upon the right of way, the subdivision should be redesigned to accommodate the building, or remove the building.

Buildings must be located so that Sewage Disposal Regulations are satisfied. Thus, no lot line may be located within 1 metre of a septic tank or 3 metres of a sewage drain field. See sections 12 and 18 of BC Regulation 411/85.

Legalization of Highway Encroachments

The Ministry of Transportation may issue a permit to legalize the encroachment structure to facilitate the property owner’s situation.  An H-112 form “Permit to Authorize Existing Structures Constructed within the Right of Way of Any Arterial Highway within A Municipality or Any Highway in A Rural Area” is used to legalize the encroachment.  Utility policies and permits in the Utility Policy Manual will administer all facilities and structures related to utility encroachments on the highway right of way.

Permits will be issued pursuant to Section 62 of the Transportation Act and also to grant consent for a 4.5 meter setback according to Section 12 of the Provincial Public Undertakings Regulation BC Reg. 513/2004. The legislation and regulations authorize the Minister of Transportation to permit encroachments. This power was delegated to the Regional Director, Provincial Approving Officer and District Manager, Transportation positions by Orders-in-Council 2434/81 and 47/82.


This guide is a living document; it is subject to change without notice. Please check the Rural Subdivisions Website ( to make sure your version is sufficiently current.