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.
Belmont is responsible for the maintenance of, or improvements to, only those portions of the right-of-way in which it caused improvements (i.e., the roadway) to be constructed. The area outside of the roadway, but within the right-of-way is “managed” by the City and is done through the issuing of permits to encroach within this area. The Belmont Municipal Code details out what is allowed or not allowed within this remaining right-of-way along with required maintenance of the right-of-way.
The City has the responsibility for maintaining roads within an accepted right-of-way by keeping it safe. However, the City does not become the owner of the land on which the road is built, or of any land adjacent to the road, unless it has title in the property.
The property owner whose parcel is adjacent to the roadway or pathway is responsible for the property within the right-of-way. Each adjacent property owner is responsible for the land adjacent to his or her parcel to the edge of city improvements (i.e., the roadway). In the case of pathways and alleys, the abutting property owners are responsible to the center line of the path or alley. The property owner retains the right to use this area in a manner that is consistent with its dedicated public use, which is governed by Belmont’s Municipal Code and requires a permit for any work to be performed within the right-of-way.
A Temporary Encroachment Permit is needed for construction work within the public right-of-way. This type of work includes driveway approach, sewer lateral, parking pad, curb drain, street trenching, sidewalk cutting, etc. A current and active City Business License will also be required.
Submit a Traffic Control Plan and sketch/site photos along with application form.
A Permanent Encroachment is needed for construction of a retaining wall, stairway, fence or any similar structure within the public right-of-way, which if over 4 feet would require a building permit. Council approval is required.
A grading permit shall be required when the combined volume of material excavated and filled will exceed fifty (50) cubic yards; the depth of any cut or fill will exceed two (2) feet at its deepest point measured from the natural ground; grading and/or vegetation removal will disturb an area of more than two thousand (2,000) square feet; or other excavation as part of a geologic or geotechnical investigation required by the city.
For more information on the restrictions you can locate them at the Caltrans website.