All public streets are located on what is known as public right-of-way. This is property under control of St. Charles County (or other local governing agency) for the purpose of maintaining the streets and related improvements like drainage structures and signs. This area of right-of-way can vary, but it typically extends beyond the curb of the street by a distance of 8–12 feet.

No Work in Public Right-of-Ways

No improvements, other than driveways or mailboxes, should be placed in this right-of-way as it is not the personal property of the homeowner. Things such as bushes that are on the public right-of-way can be removed by the County if they are found to be presenting a safety hazard due to their size or height.

Also, should road work conducted by the Highway Department be necessary, anything such as sprinkler heads or fences that are placed on the right-of-way will not be replaced if they are damaged or disturbed during the road work.

Determining the Right-of-Way

In determining what is the right-of-way for subdivisions constructed prior to 2001, the right-of-way for a 26-foot wide street is 50 feet. In other words, if you were to measure over from the center of the street a distance of 25 feet, you would find the line separating the right-of-way and your property. The right-of-way for a 32-foot wide street or wider is 60 feet.

For subdivisions built after 2001, the right-of-way for a 26-foot wide street is 42 feet, or a distance of 21 feet from the center line of the road. For 32-foot wide streets, the right-of-way is 48 feet, and for 38-foot wide streets, the right-of-way is 54 feet.

For those not living within a subdivision, the right-of-way for most unimproved two-lane roads in the unincorporated sections of the county is 40 feet, or 20 feet from the center line.

Contact Information

If you have questions about your particular situation, you can call 636-949-7305 to find out more information, or use County GIS maps.

Permits and Requirements

Anyone contemplating work on the public right-of-way, whether it be a construction company, a utility, or an individual property owner, must first obtain a Special Use Permit. This is a requirement of state statute and is necessary to ensure that no damage is done to public property that might have to be repaired using public tax dollars.

This type of work includes anything from as simple as replacing a driveway to as complicated as placing a new series of power poles or water lines along a roadway.

Additional Information

Information on the process and cost of acquiring the necessary permit can be found by calling 636-949-7305. The Highway Department also makes information available in a summary of requirements (PDF) to work in county right-of-way.