PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY
WHO OWNS WHAT?
Public rights of way directly affect nearly all land owners in Marion County yet few have an understanding of what a public right of way is, or what rights they may or may not have in the right of way. The following is an overview of ownership and rights in and to public right of ways.
County's Rights in Right of Way
The county does not own the right of way or have the right to take away anything from it unless it interferes with the use of the easement. As an example, the county can trim a tree that causes a vision hazard or remove a tree or other material to allow for a road widening. However, the county cannot remove the material for any purpose not related to the road without the property owners permission.
Property Owner Rights in Right of Way
Under Oregon law, a property owner does not have the right to allow trees or other vegetation to intrude onto an abutting property or to interfere with an easement. The abutting owner or easement holder has the right to remove the offending vegetation, but is required to place the offending material on the original property owner's land, if the original owner wants them. This is a common situation for Public Works trimming in the right of way. The department usually removes the trimmings as a courtesy, but the property owner can keep the trimmings if they want.
Other's Rights in Right of Way