Right-of-Way License Agreements

The public right-of-way (ROW) is the publicly-owned strip of land reserved for transportation, utilities, and other public services.  In the Village, the public ROW is where streets and sidewalks are located — but where does private property end and the public ROW begin?  The answer differs for each lot, but very rarely does private property extend all the way to a sidewalk or roadway.  Measurements for each individual property are in the deed for each property.  The Village Office also maintains a list of the ROW measurements for each property.

The Village Code (Sec. 7-209) states that the owner of private property adjoining a public right-of-way shall maintain that portion of the right-of-way located between the private property line and the edge of the paved street in a safe and sanitary condition  An owner shall not permit grass or weeds to grow within the right-of-way to a height in excess of 12 inches.  The Village Code also states that a property owner shall not place any structure, wall, fence, hedge, shrubbery, within the right-of-way without a license to use the right-of-way.  Furthermore, such structures and plantings must be maintained so that a clear and unobstructed view is available to pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

If you wish to place a structure such as fence, walkway, irrigation system in the public ROW, you must obtain a ROW License Agreement from the Village.  The license agreement will be filed with your deed.    A  ROW license agreement grants permission for use of the public ROW for a private purpose, and makes clear that the license is revocable by the Village.  The purpose is to make clear that the Village may at any time move or remove any items you have placed in the ROW.  There is a $100 charge for a ROW license agreement to help defray the legal fees involved for the Village.

To request a Right-of-Way (ROW) License Agreement, please contact the Village Office (301-656-4112).

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7013 Brookville Road, Suite B
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815-3263

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