Right-Of-Way (ROW) is the area of land owned by the City which is reserved for transportation and utility purposes.
In areas with detached sidewalk (where there is a planter strip between the curb and sidewalk) the right-of-way line is generally the back of sidewalk. In areas with curb tight sidewalk the right-of-way line in generally four to five feet behind the back of sidewalk. The right-of-way line varies in areas without sidewalk.
The City’s Engineering Division can provide information to help you determine where the right-of-way line is. You may email us or call us at 360-342-5070.
The City requires any person working in the right-of-way (including, but not limited to, sidewalk repairs, tree removal, and street cuts) to acquire a ROW Permit prior to doing any work. In addition to the application, a person submitting a ROW Permit will need to provide a sketch or description of the work and insurance naming the City as additionally insured or if a homeowner is doing the work they will need to provide evidence that they have homeowners insurance.
Additional requirements and information can be found in the permit application. There is a fee associated with a ROW Permit except in the case where a property owner is repairing (or having a Contractor repair) sidewalk or planter strips abutting their property. Please note that even though this type of work is exempt from the fee, a permit is still required. Minor maintenance work such as cleaning sidewalks and trimming landscaping does not require a permit.
An encroachment means to construct, erect, or maintain in, over, or under any public place, right-of-way, easement, or any property owned by the City any structure, which can be either permanent or temporary in nature.
Temporary encroachments, such as the placement of shipping containers, require an Encroachment Permit and must meet the City’s insurance requirements. Temporary encroachments may be approved for up to 30 days. The City encourages homeowner’s to place shipping containers on your driveway so you can avoid paying the fee for the permit and the liability that comes with using the street.
Permanent encroachments, such as the placement of awning on a building that extends into the right-of-way, require an Encroachment Permit. An applicant for an encroachment permit will need to meet the City’s insurance requirements and provide other legal documentation, available from the Engineering Division.