What is the right-of-way?
The right-of-way (ROW) includes the paved street and the area often called the boulevard, which extends beyond the street surface into the yard(s). The city has rights to use the ROW to construct and maintain streets, sidewalks, sewer and water lines, drainage facilities and to store snow. The ROW may also contain private utilities such as gas, phone and cable lines.
The size of boulevard varies and will depend on the width of the ROW, the width of the street, and the location of the street within the ROW. For example, if the ROW is 50 feet and the width of the street is 26 feet, there would be 24 feet of remaining ROW outside the street surface. However, the 24 feet may not be divided evenly between the two sides of the street, depending on whether or not the street is centered within the ROW.
Setback lines for structures are measured from this ROW line, not from the edge of the street.
Managing the right-of-way
The City of Minnetonka has adopted a Right-of-Way (ROW) Ordinance to ensure the integrity of its streets and monitor appropriate uses of the ROW. No person may obstruct or excavate in the ROW without first obtaining a ROW permit from the city. The city charges a permit fee to cover the costs related to right-of-way management, including processing registrations, permit applications and performing site inspections.
Property owners are required to mow and maintain the boulevard area adjacent to their property and keep it clear of debris. Property owners are discouraged from doing any major landscaping or planting in the ROW. Minor planting is typically allowed but the city discourages planting of trees and shrubs in the ROW because these may be disrupted by future work and may interfere with the ability to see traffic. The city is not required to replace any landscaping other than grass that is damaged during utility or street work within the ROW.
Monuments, fences or retaining walls should not be placed within the ROW without a ROW permit from the city. Landscaping plans can be reviewed with the Engineering Department to verify their compatibility with the ROW. It is especially important on corners to keep visibility clear.
Utility owners must follow these procedures for obtaining a ROW permit:
- Submit a registration packet before any permits will be issued. The registration must be renewed each year. The registration packet includes a registration form, certificate of insurance and invoice agreement if you have been approved to be billed semi-annually.
- Submit a ROW permit application for proposed work and include a detailed construction plan, traffic control pan (if applicable) and appropriate fee—unless the company is approved to be invoiced. Staff will review the permit and either issue or deny the permit within 10 business days. If approved, it is the company’s responsibility to contact Gopher State One Call to locate utility lines prior to excavation.
- Notify Engineering Department prior to beginning work.
- Submit the Certificate of Completion when work is complete (including restoration) and city staff will perform a final inspection.
- Submit as-builts by April 1 for the previous year’s work. The city prefers ArcView (shape file).
Residents doing their own work within the ROW only need to submit the permit application, plans and fee.
Completed applications can be submitted by mail, fax, email or in person to:
Sarah Krake, Engineering Department
City of Minnetonka
14600 Minnetonka Blvd
Minnetonka, MN 55345