For most properties, land ownership technically extends to the middle of the street. However, the city has easement rights over the land between the center of the street to an area beyond the edge of the street, extending into your yard. This area is called the right-of-way.
This strip of land is intended to be used for roads, crosswalks, sidewalks, trails or utilities. The city’s easement allows us to monitor and manage the right-of-way, ensure safe vehicle and pedestrian travel and use the right-of-way for snow storage and public infrastructure.
View the city’s right-of-way ordinance and use the sections below to learn more.
View our right-of-way and utility and drainage easements graphic for a typical visual representation of both. This is just an example, as both can vary on each individual property.
Contact City of Minnetonka Right-of-Way/Property Coordinator Sarah Krake at 952-939-8246 to ask questions.
Hennepin County maintains official records of all easements on a property. Contact the county to learn about easements on your property.
The city can assist with determining the location of some of your property’s easements. Contact Right-of-Way Coordinator Sarah Krake at 952-939-8246 for assistance.
Easements can impact how you use the land you own. For example, setbacks for structures are measured from your property line at the edge of the right-of-way, rather than the edge of the street.
The city’s easement allows us to restrict certain private uses of the right-of-way, and require permits for some uses. Here’s what Minnetonka property owners need to know about right-of-way uses adjacent to your property:
Allowed Uses with No Approval Required: turf, shrubs and landscaping that do not obstruct the view of traffic, mailboxes that meet USPS standards, irrigation systems and underground pet fencing.
Use That Requires a Permit: retaining walls, monuments, berms
Prohibited Uses: fences, deciduous trees (i.e. maple) within 15 feet of the curb, coniferous trees (i.e. pine) within 20 feet of the curb, or anything that interferes with the city’s use of the easement.
Maintenance: Property owners are required to mow and maintain the boulevard area adjacent to their property and keep it free of obstructions.
Removals: The city has the right to remove any private use of the right-of-way, permitted or not, in order to improve the easement or install, repair, maintain, access or remove any public facilities. In some cases, this could be at the expense of the property owner. The city has no obligation to replace anything other than turf in the event the right-of way is disturbed by street or utility work.
A right-of-way permit is required if a resident or utility company is obstructing or excavating in the right-of-way. There is a permit fee that covers the city’s right-of-way management, permitting, processing and site inspections. Learn more and download applications below.
Submit completed applications by mail, fax, email or in-person to:
- Sarah Krake, Engineering Division
City of Minnetonka
14600 Minnetonka Blvd.
Minnetonka, MN 55345
- Fax: 952-939-8244
Residents doing work – retaining walls, monuments, berms, etc. – within the right-of-way must submit the permit application, plans and fee.
Utility companies must follow these procedures to obtain a right-of-way permit:
Submit a registration packet. The registration must be renewed each year. The registration packet includes a registration form, certificate of insurance and invoice agreement if you have been approved to be billed biannually on June 1 and Dec. 1.
Submit a right-of-way permit application for proposed work. Include a detailed construction plan, traffic control pan (if applicable) and appropriate fee, unless the company has an approved invoice agreement. Staff will review the permit and either issue or deny within 10 business days. If approved, the company must contact Gopher State One Call to locate utility lines prior to excavation.
Notify the city’s engineering division at 952-939-8246 before work begins.
Submit the Certificate of Completion when work is complete (including restoration) and city staff will perform a final inspection.
Submit as-builts by April 1 for the previous year’s work. The city prefers ArcView (shape file).
Call before you dig
If you’re planning to dig for any reason, contact Gopher State One Call or call 811 to request utility location at least 48 hours in advance. Utility companies are notified and will mark the utility locations with small flags and/or paint.
It’s crucial to preserve and maintain the location of the flags and paint until work is complete, as displaced markings may lead to accidental damage of the existing utilities.
If utilities are marked by paint and/or small flags, but you or your contractor didn’t request utility location, it’s likely utility work or road construction is about to begin on or near your property.
To look up who made the request, visit Gopher State One Call’s website and click “find a ticket” to search for your property. Any requests from the last month will be displayed; click on each to learn more.
Utility locations should be requested for ALL digging or construction, from big projects (road construction, home additions, installing a pool) to small items (real estate signs, mailboxes, planting trees or shrubs, removing a stump).
Private underground facilities, such as private utility lines and distribution networks, do not get marked by public utility companies. If you think you may have private facilities, contact a private utility locator to identify and locate them. Visit this page to learn more.