A Right-of-way is land dedicated to the City for public use and enjoyment. Right-of-way widths may vary depending on codes at the time of development.
While right-of-ways are owned by the City, by ordinance it is to be maintained by the abutting property owner in accordance to City Code of Ordinances >> Chapter 22 - Debris, Weeds and Vegetation Nuisances >> Sec. 22 - 16. :
Maintenance of areas between private property and public right-of-way or easement:
Whenever private property abuts a public right-of-way or easement and there exists in such right-of-way or easement a tree, lawn or grassy area between the private property and the edge of the street pavement, then such tree, lawn or grassy area shall be considered, for purposes of this section only, to be part of the private lot which abuts the right-of-way or easement, and it shall be the duty of those responsible under this section for maintenance of the private lot that abuts the right-of-way or easement area to equally maintain the tree, lawn or grassy area within the abutting right-of-way or easement.
The City has the right by law to use and regulate what happens within the right-of-way. For example, unapproved signs, sight obstructions, and basketball goals are not allowed within the right-of-way.
Work taking place within a right-of-way:
Such work requires a permit to be obtained as well as other requirements to be met. This work may include be is not limited to:
Fee & Permit Expiration
The fee for the permit and inspection of right-of-way work is $45 and is issued though the Building Department office. Such permits shall expire after 60 days from the date of issuance.
Allow at least 24 hours for permit processing.
All persons and entities maintaining, constructing, or installing facilities are required to maintain an up-to-date merchants Business license and up-to-date liability insurance conforming to the requirements as detailed in Appendix C. Right-of-Way Management. Right-of-way uses may file an affidavit of $25 million in net assets in lieu of the right-of-way performance and maintenance bond.
Installing an Irrigation System in the Right of Way
Contractors installing an irrigation system in the public right of way must obtain a Merchants Business license in the City of St. Clair and apply for both a building permit (lawn sprinkler system permit) and a right of way permit. A release for Lawn Sprinkler System waiver needs to be signed and notarized by each property owner on the deed when applying for an irrigation permit. Backflow devices must be inspected by the City.
Procedures for installing an Irrigation System (PDF)
Right-of-Way Damage Report
When a building permit application is submitted for a new residential or commercial structure, a completed Right-of-Way Damage Report is required for approval. This form allows the contractor to note any pre-existing damage to:
At the completion of the project, the City inspects the construction area and any damage not reported on the form is required to be repaired prior to finalization of the permit.
Right-of-Way Damage Report Form (PDF)
Structures, trees, bushes and other landscaping that obstruct the vision of drivers are not allowed. Property owners may be cited for a code violation if objects in the right-of-way on their property are interfering with traffic safety. For information on sight obstructions, contact the City St. Clair's Building Department Office.
Utilities & Easements
What Are Utility Easements?
A utility easement may or may not be in the right-of-way. These are areas where the utility (i.e., gas company, power utility, cable company, etc.) has permission to enter a property to install and maintain utility facilities.
Physical Utility Location
Before digging in the right-of-way or in your own yard, you are required to contact DIG RITE (800-344-7483) at least 3 working days prior to digging for marking of utility line locations. This is to ensure the utilities are identified so that an appropriate distance may be maintained during excavation for the safety of all.
Colors Used to Identify Utility Locations
From time to time you may see lines painted on the street in front of your property or on the property itself. These are most likely utility locations and a contractor or possibly your neighbor may have requested the locations. The colors have a distinct meaning: