A right-of-way (or easement) is when a utility company—such as a power, electricity, internet, or cable company—owns a portion of a privately-owned property where a utility is located, as well as the land directly surrounding. What types of utilities have rights-of-way in Northeast Ohio?
- Gas or petroleum lines
- Water mains or lines
- Storm water pipes
- Electric lines, poles, or conduits
- Cable or internet lines
- Sewer pipes
- Roadways to access any of the above utilities
Easements in Cuyahoga County’s wooded areas most often include the right to clear, trim, and remove vegetation and tress from within the utility right-of-way, as well remove hazardous trees near the right-of-way that could damage the utility if they fall. In grassy areas or wetlands, easements could include the right to mow overgrown grasses, remove bushes and shrubs, and monitor drainage. When performed by a professional, these efforts will ensure that your Cleveland area utility rights-of-way have the necessary clearance for operation, maintenance, and public safety.
In Northeast Ohio and elsewhere in the country, commercial and residential property owners are responsible for keeping utility owned property and rights-of-way clear of vegetation. This is because utility companies must always be able to access power lines or gas pipes for routine maintenance and repair. Similarly, right-of-way clearing regulations ensure that trees do not pose a hazard to utilities or utility workers. Not only should property owners clear any overgrown vegetation or trees from the space, but a long-term right-of-way maintenance plan should be developed in coordination with a professional arborist to ensure that utility workers can access lines or pipes at any time of year. In Ohio, failure to comply with rights-of-way maintenance regulations can result in civil fines.