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All public streets are located on what is known as public right-of-way. This is property that is 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’. 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 work be necessary on a street by the Highway Department, 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.

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

For subdivisions built after 2001, the right-of-way for a 26’ wide street is 42’, or a distance of 21’ from the centerline of the road. For 32’ wide streets, the right-of-way is 48’, and for 38’ wide streets, the right-of-way is 54’. 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’, or 20’ from centerline. However, if you have questions about your particular situation, you can call 636.949.7305 to find out more information, or you may utilize the County GIS maps if you prefer.

Permits & 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.

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 the following summary of requirements to work in County right-of-way.


Craig Tajkowski
Craig Tajkowski

County Engineer

201 N. Second St.
Suite 429
St. Charles, MO 63301
Ph: 636.949.7305
Fx: 636.949.7307
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Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.