pw sidewalkDescription
A public right-of-way is the strip of land on which a city street is located including the strips on either side of the street that typically includes the tree lawn and sidewalk.  Within Centerville, the City normally owns the street and those two strips of land. A township, county, state, or the Federal government can also own Rights of Way

In Centerville, a typical residential street is built on a 50 foot wide Right of Way. Street and curb = 28 ft. Area on either side of street/curb = 11 ft. used for sidewalk, public utilities, tree lawn, and traffic signs.

How to find your public Right-of-Way:

  1. If you have a sidewalk, typically the edge of the sidewalk closest to your house is the public right of way line and therefore also your front property line. 
  2. If no sidewalk is present, then measure ten feet back from the curb to determine the right of way line

Purpose and Use of the Public Right-of-Way

  • Reserved for public improvements and various features can occupy it, including sidewalk, street signs, traffic signals, street lights, fire hydrants, and storm sewers. 
  • Reserved for public utilities, including water, electric, gas, telephone, cable TV, and sanitary sewer.
  • Provides the City with the ability to maintain proper sight distance.  As trees and bushes grow and start to block visibility for motorists driving the roadways or pedestrians using the sidewalk, they need to be trimmed to provide for adequate sight distance.  Residents are reminded to pay close attention to vegetation growing along public Right of Way on their property frontage and work to keep it cut back.  This includes tree branches overhanging sidewalk.  These branches need to be trimmed upward to provide overhead clearance for pedestrians and bicycle riders using the sidewalk.

Maintenance of the Public Right-of-Way
While individual property owners are required to maintain their public right-of-way across their frontage, including lawn mowing, tree trimming, and driveway approaches, it is public property and a permit is required for work within this area.

The permit ensures the City has approved that the work performed does not infringe on public safety and accessibility.  Sidewalk and driveway approaches improvements require a public Right-of-Way permit.  For more information sidewalk and driveway approach requirements, go to the Engineering section of the Public Works Department.

Please note the following when performing work in the public Right-of-Way:

  1. Call the City’s Public Works Department, 428-4782, to inform them any work you or a hired contract is planning near the street and find out if you need a permit.
    1. Including but not limited to repair or reconstruction of your driveway, sanitary sewer tap, sump pump outlet, gas line, or water line. 
  2. Do not plant bushes or trees close to the street.
  3. All fencing must be kept outside of the public Right of Way.  (Installation of a fence requires a separate permit.) 
  4. Electronic pet fences and sprinkler systems should NOT be placed in the public right of way.

Public Right-of-Way Permit

  • Any work done in the public Right of Way, by residents or hired contractors, must be communicated to the City. 
  • Property owners should require their contractor secure all necessary permits before proceeding with work in the Right of Way. 
  • A bond is required to work within the Right of Way.
  • The permit cost is nominal - $35 and issued by the Public Works Department.
  • Ensures all work is completed properly and according to City standards.
  • Click here to download a Public Right-of Way Permit Application.   Drop off or mail the application to the Public Works Department
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