Right-of-way is an interest in property either owned in fee or as an easement transferred through grant, prescription, dedication, or the right of Eminent Domain. The county uses road right-of-way to construct, operate, and maintain public infrastructure, including but not limited to; the roadway surface, support shoulder, cut and fill slopes, ditches, traffic signs and signals, and drainage facilities. Public use of right-of-way includes direct and indirect benefits, such as providing mobility and containing utility systems.
Determining County Right-of-Way Width
Right-of-way varies in width between roads and may vary in width along different segments of the same road. In most cases, right-of-way width is greater than the surface of the roadway and does not end at the edge of pavement or back of curb. The county does not have right-of-way maps, but there are several ways to help determine the location of a right-of-way line including:
- Engaging a licensed professional land surveyor to complete a land survey and, if appropriate, a title search of the public records in the Clerk and Recorder's Office. This is an accurate and reliable method to locate right-of-way, property boundaries and encumbrances on the property.
- Reviewing existing surveys of the property or, if the property is part of a subdivision, its subdivision plat. Recorded surveys and subdivision plats are available for viewing in the County Clerk and Recorder's Office.
- Locating property monuments on a property.
Vacating County Rights-of-Way
Property owners may work with the county to remove or "vacate" public right-of-way. Application for vacating rights-of-way is part of the Development Process. For more information, contact Planning and Zoning.
In addition to acquiring the proper permits, always verify the right-of-way line location before installing a fence or landscaping to ensure that it will be on your property. In special circumstances, the county may issue a License Agreement (PDF) for private improvements in county right-of-way.
No Sign shall be placed in the right-of-way of any public street, road or highway except as specified in the Jefferson County Right-of-Way Sign Policy and Procedure. (see Zoning Resolution Section 11.B)
Land Development Regulation
Right-of-way for Jefferson County street-widening projects that was purchased from previous or current landowners on or after June 7, 1988, is subject to Section 33.A.7 of the Land Development Regulation.