Mint Hill

Public Right-of-Way

The Town of Mint Hill maintains approximately 105 miles of roadway (as of April 2017) and associated public right-of-way (ROW). As allowed by NC General Statute 160A-296, the Town regulates the use of its ROW--see the ROW Use Permit page for more info about what types of use require a permit.

ROW Graphic
Example ROW Width

ROW Use Page

Frequently Asked Questions About the Public ROW

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about the public ROW. Click a question to see the answer listed below. If you still have a question about the Town's ROW, please email ROWPermits@minthill.com or call Town Hall (704-545-9726) and ask to speak to the Town Engineer, Steve Frey.

What is the Public ROW?
+ Where is the Public ROW?
+ Who can use the Public ROW?
+ Does the Town regulate use of and work within the Public ROW?


What is the Public ROW?

In the simplest of terms, the public ROW is the land that a public roadway lays upon, plus a little extra on either side. Public ROW does not necessarily always have a roadway within it--sometimes it is platted as such, but no roadway has been constructed yet. It is a corridor of land that the general public has the right to use for moving from one place to another, by both vehicular and pedestrian means, as allowed by law. The public ROW is also the place where public utilities (as defined in NCGS 62) may install their distribution facilities (i.e. pipelines, communications lines, sewers, etc.). Public ROW is typically dedicated to an entity (in North Carolina, usually the state or a local municipality) in a plat (the document that subdivides a larger piece of property and draws new boundary lines, typically for developments) or deeded as a separate real estate transaction. Sometimes it is given to the entity accepting the ROW, and other times it is purchased by the entity. That receiving entity then "owns" that piece of ROW and it becomes part of the larger ROW network.

There can be several types of ROW within the Town of Mint HIll: state, town, and private. State ROW is maintained by the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The town ROW is maintained by the Town's Public Works Department. Private ROW is owned and maintained by an entity other than NCDOT or the Town. This may be a single property owner, a home owners agency (HOA), or some other non-government entity.

Click Here for a map that shows the ownership status of all streets within Mint Hill.


Where is the Public ROW?

Property owners can approximate the location of the ROW line by using the Mecklenburg County POLARIS website. Tutorials on how to use the POLARIS website can be found on YouTube and on the POLARIS website. The Town has also created a brief tutorial on how to use POLARIS to find the ROW limits. Click here to view it.

Unfortunately, there is no "standard location" or rule of thumb of where the ROW line is. It is almost always NOT located at the edge of the roadway. It is typically anywhere from 5 to 20+ feet from the edge of the roadway in a residential area, likely extending up into where most people believe to be their property and/or yard. The location of the ROW line depends on how much public ROW was specified when the property was originally platted (that is, originally subdivided into lots) and where the roadway was actually constructed.

Sometimes there are visual cues to help approximate the ROW line such as sidewalk (the ROW is often at the edge of the sidewalk furthest from the road), utility poles (which are often located very near the ROW line), or a historical maintenance area (that is, where the Town or other entity has historically mowed or otherwise maintained the non-roadway area of the ROW). None of these examples are a surefire method of locating the ROW, but they can get close to an answer which may be good enough for most uses.

It is strongly recommended that property owners obtain survey (from a NC licensed surveyor) to determine the exact location of the ROW before doing any sort of costly or time-intensive work (i.e. fencing, significant landscaping, any hardscaping, irrigation, etc.). Items placed in the Town's ROW are subject to removal.

Please note that the Town cannot provide ROW locating for property owners.


Who can use the Public ROW?

The public ROW is intended for the general public to use for transportation and access purposes. In other words, it is for accessing properties which front the ROW, and for getting around by some means of transportation (including vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians/foot traffic, etc.). State law also requires owners of public ROW to allow public utility companies to build and maintain their networks within the ROW, with appropriate regulation and monitoring by the owner, as well as full restoration of impacted private properties. The ROW owner may regulate irregular use of the ROW, but it must generally be left open to the traveling public.

Some examples of uses not permitted within the ROW are:

  • Landscaping (beyond mowing grass) including planting trees or shrubs
  • Installation of irrigation lines and sprinkler heads
  • Construction of structures, including decorative mailboxes (i.e. brick or other permanent hard materials)
  • Altering drainage flow (if there is a drainage issue, please see the stormwater page of the Town's website)

Does the Town regulate use of and work within the Public ROW?

Yes. Please see the ROW Use Permitting page of the Town's website.