What is a right of way?

A right of way is the publicly owned area in a development or neighborhood that extends beyond the back of the curb into the residential or business yard. A common misconception is that the homeowner’s or business owner’s property line goes right up to the curb. It does not. The public owns a certain amount of the land behind the curb (right of way).

The size of the right of way is not always the same for every property. The right of way is important for the installation and maintenance of streets and private and public utilities, including:

  • electrical
  • phone
  • sewer
  • storm sewer lines
  • water

The right of way area behind the curb is also used for snow storage when the city plows streets. The city administers the use of this area through a permitting process.

Show All Answers

1. Why do we have speed limits?
2. What are my responsibilities in regard to the right of way?
3. What is a right of way?
4. What is an easement?