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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Sep 25

Whose Duty is it to Maintain Public Right-of-Way?

Posted on September 25, 2017 at 10:47 AM by Communications Department

The public right-of-way is the area adjoining one’s property extending to the curb line or paved portion of the roadway. It typically includes, but is not limited to, any sidewalks, planting strips, traffic circles, or medians. Did you know that property owners are responsible for maintaining their portion of the right-of-way in Newport News?  According to City ordinance Sec. 13-150, the property owner is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their property, including the public right-of-way. This duty to maintain is not limited only to residential properties, but also includes all commercial and industrial parcels. publicrightofway1

Typically, the upkeep and maintenance requires the property owners to cut the grass along the public right-of-way and thereby ensures that grass and weeds do not exceed the maximum permitted height.  City ordinance limits grass and weeds to a height of 10 inches on property within 150 feet of any building or 15 inches if no buildings exist within 150 feet.  Failure to properly maintain the property, including the right-of-way, is considered detrimental to the health, safety, peace, good order, comfort, convenience, morals or general welfare of the citizens of the city.

For additional information or questions, please contact the City’s Department of Codes Compliance at 757-933-2311 or