WHAT IS A RIGHT-OF-WAY?
A right-of-way is an area of land over which people and goods have the right to pass or travel. A public right-of-way grants passage to all and provides the right to park registered vehicles in accordance with local parking restrictions. Public right-of-way is a form of easement typically dedicated to the City during subdivision for public use. Right-of-way is not part of the adjacent parcels; the right-of-way boundary usually coincides with adjacent parcel property lines. Right-of-way may also be deeded, in which case, it is not an easement, but land owned in fee by the City. The City controls all public right-of-way in Saginaw except for dedicated State of Michigan rights-of-way such as M-13, M-46, M-58, M-81 and M-84. Although most right-of-way dedicated to the City of Saginaw is used for public streets, there is also undeveloped right-of-way and right-of-way dedicated for pathways.
WHAT IS THE SIZE OF MY RIGHT-OF-WAY?
Most Saginaw residential streets have 60 to 66-foot wide right-of way. Since street improvements (pavement, sidewalk, curb and gutter) are rarely this wide, a significant amount of the right-of-way may be undeveloped. Residents should not assume they own the land up to the street improvements but should verify where their property line is before undertaking improvements. Only the City may build, or allow others to build, structures such as streets, sidewalks, driveway approaches, curb, gutter, retaining walls, parking pads and utilities (water, sewer, power, etc) in the public right-of-way. No person or outside agency may construct or place structures or objects in, or otherwise block access to, the City right-of-way without an encroachment permit or agreement from the City. Residents may not claim private parking or otherwise block access to parking within the public right-of-way.
WHO TAKES CARE OF THE RIGHT-OF-WAY?
The City is responsible for maintenance of street pavement and dedicates both maintenance and capital improvement funds for this purpose. Adjacent property owners are responsible for maintaining other street improvements including sidewalk, driveway approaches, curb, gutter, parking pads, retaining walls, etc. Adjacent property owners are liable for persons injured or damaged by poorly maintained sidewalks or other improvements. Sidewalks with a vertical offset of two inches or more are considered a tripping hazard which requires repair or replacement.