County calls public hearing to discuss right-of-way ordinance

A public hearing to gather comment on proposed changes to Washington County’s right-of-way ordinance will be Tuesday, April 24 at the 9 a.m. meeting of the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Washington County Ordinance No. 154, “Right of Way Ordinance for Management of Utilities in the Public Right of Way,” was adopted in November 2000 to protect the publicly-owned county highway right-of-way from unauthorized alterations. The ordinance is in need of several updates and clarifications.

These updates include:

• incorporation of mandated storm water management provisions;

• improved definition of county highway permit categories and explicit requirement to obtain necessary permits;

• explicit authorization of annual permits for routine utility maintenance;

• incorporation of permit requirements for changes in usage intensity of existing county highway accesses;

• change of the overseeing official from the county’s Public Works Director to the County Engineer;

• revision of the ordinance title to “Ordinance for the Management of County Highway Right of Way” to reflect the fact that the ordinance applies to all alterations within county right of way rather than solely to utilities;

• explicit authorization of an adopted fee schedule for right-of-way permits;

• general updates to formatting and wording.

The public hearing will be during the commission’s regular meeting at 9 a.m. in the Board Room of the Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd St. N., Stillwater.