During the past year several property owners throughout the county have contacted our office asking if there are any rules or regulations regarding landscaping their property along a county road. Of course our first response is to get the location of the property to determine the width of the road right of way. Any work within the road right of way requires a permit. Within the Association, a majority of the property is platted. This means that someone at one time laid out specific boundaries for lots and roads within a plat.
If the lot owner wishes to landscape within the road right of way we require a “use of right of way permit”. This permit has a nominal fee of $10.00, but saves plenty of headaches if you acquire it prior to working within the right of way.
Once the permit application is received a representative of the Road Commission will review the site with the property owner to their site plan. If it determined that the proposed landscape work does not interfere the following items it will be approved.
Scope of the work – what do you want to place or do within the road right of way?
Drainage – if there is a drainage ditch along the road, we typically do not allow it to be altered.
Placing of landscape rocks, timbers, fences, trees, etc – these items can create an obstacle that could potentially cause liability exposure for both the property owner and the Road Commission. Vehicles could run off the road hitting them causing damage to both the vehicle and property, along with potential injury to the occupants of the vehicle.
An additional concern is winter snow removal. If one of the above described items is placed too close to the roadway our equipment could be damaged. The reason road right of ways are as large they are, is to allow plowed snow to be placed there.
Please call our office, 989-595-2411, or email Director Steve Lang anytime you have a question, whether it is about road right of ways or roads in general. The road commission phone number is 989-734-2216.