When you and your neighbors want to permanently close a street no longer needed as a public thoroughfare, you, the property owners can request a street vacation. This process is necessary to ensure the public interest in the street right-of-way and the public utility of the right-of-way is no longer necessary [State Statutes 66.1003 & 66.1005].

Note: If the right-of-way was purchased by the City for street purposes it is generally sold to adjacent owners at fair market value.

Process Overview

  1. Send in Requests

    All property owners adjacent to the street to be vacated should send the following items to the City Clerk and the City Engineering Division:

    • A letter of request
    • A sketch of the area to be vacated

    City Clerk
    City-County Building

    210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 103
    Madison, WI 53703

    Phone: (608) 266-4601

    City Engineering
    City-County Building

    210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 115
    Madison, WI 53703

    Phone: (608) 266-4751

  2. Request Review

    The request is introduced to the Common Council and referred to the Board of Public Works, the Plan Commission and the Transportation Commission for consideration.

    All these reviewers report back to the City Engineering Division. City Engineering also coordinates the vacation request with other City agencies and the Utility companies.

  3. Public Hearing

    If the Commissions approve the street vacation, City Engineering prepares a description of the area to be vacated, including easements and other restrictions. You may be required to obtain a survey of the area to be vacated.

    The Common Council then holds a public hearing and approves or rejects the vacation request.

  4. Completion

    If approved, the vacated right-of-way is divided in compliance with the laws regarding reversion.

Related Forms & Handouts