There is a public right-of-way in front of each of the homes in the Town of Chevy Chase View that is the responsibility of the Town to “Hold in Trust” for the public. In most locations in the Town, the private property line is drawn a considerable distance from the curb; often the public right-of-way measures about 8-10 feet from the paved portion of the street. The exact right-of-way measurement is determined by a site survey that most homeowners receive at the time of purchase/refinance of their home. What does this ‘right-of-way’ mean?
Well, if a utility decides they need to change a lateral sewer line or make other alterations in the right-of-way, ANY improvements you have made in this area do not need to be restored because this is NOT your property. Have you allowed your shrubs to grow right up to the curb so that someone can’t get out of their parked car on the street?
Section 2-112 of the Town Municipal Code states:
It shall be unlawful to erect or maintain any private improvement in a public right-of-way without approval from the Town; or for a private hedge adjacent to any property line along a street or avenue, or extending thereto, to be trimmed or maintained so as to project nearer than six (6) inches to said line, or to erect a fence or plant or grow a hedge of any kind whatsoever at or near an intersection in such manner as to constitute a traffic hazard.
Town residents are encouraged to avoid placing any structures or plantings in the Town right-of-way. First of all, sight lines and means of egress for pedestrians and motorists must be maintained in order to avoid injury and property damage. Property posing a hazard as outlined above may be removed by the Town with no obligation by the Town for replacement or restitution.
In addition, utility infrastructure is contained both above and below ground in the Town right-of-way. Any obstacles encroaching in the Town right-of-way can be removed by the Town or any utility in order to access this infrastructure. Likewise, there is no remuneration or restoration entitlement for these structures/plantings as they have been placed on public property owned by the Town.