Brookhaven adopts right-of-way maintenance policy
Brookhaven has adopted a policy to provide for the continued maintenance and upkeep of City right-of-ways.
The policy establishes a framework that clearly defines what the right-of-way is, as well as the responsibilities of property owners adjacent to the right-of-way and those of the City. The document also outlines the enforcement procedures for property owners who fail to abide by the stipulations set forth in the policy.
Municipal right-of-way is defined as the area on, below, or around a roadway that the government holds for the benefit of the public. It is in this area that sidewalk, curbing and utility infrastructure exists or could exist in the future. Any construction and/or landscaping installation within the right-of-way must conform to the specifications set forth in the Brookhaven Code of Ordinances and the newly adopted city policy.
(This illustration depicts the official right-of-way along a City road using an official DeKalb County plat. The green line illustrates the extent of the 55’ right-of-way while the yellow box indicates the exact width of the road from curb to curb (26’). In this case the right- of way extend approximately 14.5’ from the edge of pavement to the abutting property lines when road width is accounted for.)
As the above illustration indicates, the public right-of-way includes the road as well as a buffer on either side of the road that varies in width. Some roads may have a right-of-way as wide as 90’ while others can be as narrow as 40’ in width.
It is in this area that abutting property owners are limited in what they can install in the right-of-way and what activities they can undertake; however, this does not negate the responsibilities property owners have when it comes to maintaining their own respective right-of-ways and ensuring that these areas stay clean, well groomed, and free of obstructions.
Some properties in Brookhaven have right-of-way outside of a fenced in perimeter or beyond a wooded area which has not been maintained by the property owner. These areas are not exempt from the stipulations of this policy and property owners are required to maintain these areas as well.
Right-of-way responsibilities as defined by the policy include but are not limited to landscaping maintenance, grass cutting and tree maintenance in a manner consistent with Brookhaven code. Property owners must also refrain from the installation of permanent structures within the right-of-way such as irrigation systems, fences and walls, or any object that can obscure line of sight.
“Establishing and enforcing a comprehensive right-of-way policy is essential to ensure that the City of Brookhaven is, and continues to be, a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing place to live.” says Brookhaven City manager Christian Sigman.
Sigman says there is important relationship between right-of-way and infrastructure improvements, “Responsible and vigilant management of the City’s right-of-ways is necessary to ensure that we are able to continue undertaking critical infrastructure projects such as road paving, sidewalks, stormwater maintenance, and utility work.”
Properties which do not comply with the policy and code could be subjected to citations and fines.