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What are a Right of Way and an Easement?

Last Updated: November 20

A Right of Way is a section of your yard that follows the roadway on which you cannot place any permanent structures. It is use to allow utilities such as water, sewer, telephone and gas to work in your yard. Normal right of ways are 15 feet from the center of the road although some are more, some are less. The stormwater ditch that falls in the right of way is maintained by the city, meaning that if it gets filled up with dirt the city will clean it out or if the pipe is blocked the city will unstop it. The city does not mow grass or remove trash from these ditches.

An Easement is similar to a right of way with the main difference being that an easement normally does not follow the roadway. Easements are use to allow utilities to run through private property and restricts the property owner from placing permanent structures in that area. If problems such as sink holes develop along the easement, the city will investigate to see if it was caused by the underground utility. Some easements are temporary for the purpose of construction; this information can be found on the property deed.

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