Public Right-of-Way

Right-of-way (ROW) is land, or an easement over land, that is dedicated for public road purposes. This usually includes sidewalks, road shoulders and ditches in addition to the road.

To report a problem in the ROW, call 503-846-ROAD (7623), email us or submit a service request.


Need to work in the ROW? A Right-of-Way Permit or Agreement is required for:

  • Utilities
  • Sidewalks
  • Driveways and property access
  • Dust control
  • Water and stream measuring devices
  • Bus shelters, benches
  • Temporary road closures
  • Items not prohibited or specifically allowed without permit
  • Asking us to not spray herbicide in the ROW adjacent to your property as part of our Roadside Spraying program
  • Placing storage containers in the ROW


The following are allowed without a permit, provided they do not interfere with the ROW or create an obstruction:

  • Mailboxes, mail drop boxes
  • Roadside vegetation
  • Basketball hoops on dead end streets and cul-de-sacs
  • Fences, retaining walls
  • Traffic control and other authorized signs placed by the county


The following are prohibited in the ROW:

  • Roadside signs
  • Permanent structures
  • Water wells
  • Septic tanks, drain fields
  • Recreation facilities not allowed elsewhere


Anything placed in the ROW, permitted or not, is subject to removal without compensation. If a written permit is not obtained when required, or if the conditions of a permit are not met, or if an obstruction, penalties may be assessed and the county's cost to effect compliance may be recovered from the responsible party.