Right of Way Use Permits
The city owns the property under, on and above the roadways and sidewalks, usually extending 10 to 20 feet beyond the roadway pavement. The right of way often extends well into what appears to be private property. Assets within the right of way may include the roadway, curb, gutter, sidewalks, vegetation, sewer and water lines, telephone, power and other utility infrastructure.
When is a Right of Way Use permit necessary?
- The city requires a permit for any activity the disrupts traffic, restricts access or modifies any infrastructure within the right of way or for any private use of the public right of way. Such activities include replacement of or modifications to driveways, placement of fences or rockeries in the right of way; temporary placement of industrial trash bins; parking moving vans or other vehicles in restricted parking areas; and block parties. Utility and construction companies are required to obtain permits for all work within the right of way.
- The Right of Way Use Division of the Transportation Department can assist in the early stages of planning to help determine if a right of way use permit is necessary. It can also advise of any problems that may be encountered or revisions that may be needed to meet city codes or other regulations. If a permit is required, please submit your application at least two weeks prior to your desired project/event start date.
- Digging more than a foot deep in the public right of way, even to plant a shrub, may encounter power lines or other utilities. In addition to the obvious life-safety concerns, there may be liability for damage to any utility encountered. CALL 1-800-424-5555 BEFORE YOU DIG. It's the law.
Where is information about right of way or road construction inspections?
The City of Bellevue makes scheduling an inspection easy with an interactive voice response system, through which a variety of inspection services are offered.
Someone has painted colored lines on the street, sidewalk or other area of right of way. Who does this? What are the lines for?
State law requires that underground utilities such as power or gas lines or water pipes be located in advance of ANY digging (greater than 12 inches for agricultural purposes) within the right of way. This is to both protect the underground utility and the excavator. You are seeing the results of an excavator's request for locates within the general area of proposed work. The lines may be for planning purposes to identify possible areas for new utility installation or for maintenance purposes. Each color reflects the presence of a specific type of utility and its general running direction.
Who is responsible for maintenance of the sidewalk?
Bellevue is different from many other jurisdictions in that it will maintain and repair all sidewalks. The city has specific standards as to when a sidewalk will be repaired. Please contact Streets Maintenance at 425-452-7840 for more information.
Will the city repair a driveway apron?
Repair, replacement or establishment of a new driveway apron is the responsibility of the homeowner. A right of way use permit is required for this work as it often forces changes to curb, gutter, sidewalk, drainage or other infrastructure.
There is a rolled curb in front of my house. Should I park partially on the sidewalk to get more of my vehicle off of the street?
It is illegal at any time for a vehicle to be parked on a public sidewalk without the issuance of a right of way use permit from the city. When permitted, the sidewalk must be signed as closed and a viable, ADA-compliant alternate pedestrian route identified.
I don't want to block the sidewalk with my cans on garbage collection day. What should I do?
Since Bellevue has few alleys, there is going to be an inherent conflict with cans and pedestrian facilities on collection day. It is important to Be a Good Neighbor and consider others when you place your cans out. Try to maintain the greatest amount of room possible on the sidewalk and remove your cans as soon as possible following collection. Cans should be removed from the right of way within 24 hours.
Can I place my basketball hoop in the right of way?
While the City of Bellevue endorses fun and recreation, safety in our top priority. Basketball hoops, hockey nets and other toys placed in the public right of way create an inherent safety conflict between players and motorists. If your hoop or toys are on the street or blocking the sidewalk you may get a letter from the City of Bellevue requiring its removal.
I am having a load of bark (topsoil, rock, etc.) delivered to my house. Can I have them dump it on the street or sidewalk?
Deliveries must be done off of the street and the materials covered if not immediately spread. You may be held responsible for any run-off that enters city stormwater systems.