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Streets Ordinance

The City of Scottsdale is updating the Streets Ordinance to revise obsolete information, align the ordinance with changes to Scottsdale Revised Code, add flexibility for street improvements and enhance effective right-of-way management and enforcement.  


The Scottsdale City Council will decide whether to adopt the ordinance update at its Monday, Dec. 9, meeting. It begins at 5 p.m. in the City Hall Kiva, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. You can access that evening's City Council agenda (which includes details about this item) on this website closer to the meeting date.

frequently asked questions about your streets

Q: What is the public right-of-way?
A: Generally, the public right-of-way is the land dedicated to the City for public travel purposes, and includes streets, alleys, sidewalks, trails, and additional property next to those travel ways.

Q: How can I find where my property ends and where the public right-of-way begins?
A: The most accurate way to find where your property lines are is to hire a surveyor. This is particularly important if you are doing any construction near the edge of your property. A good way to find the approximate location of where your property lines are is through the city's Geographic Information System (GIS). The GIS shows properties and includes aerial views that can be superimposed on the property lines.

Q: Do I pay taxes on the public right-of-way next to my property?
A: No. Property that is carved out of your lot and dedicated to the City for public right-of-way is not included in your property tax bill. However, if your lot was created in the early to mid-1900s, the public right-of-way may not be carved out of your lot, although your lot is still likely to be subject to an easement granting public right-of-way uses.

Q: What can I do in the public right-of-way next to my property?
A: Check the new Streets Ordinance for specifics. Generally, you can landscape the area next to the travelled public right-of-way with low plants, pavers, bricks and gravel. You can also install limited irrigation pipes. Other installations and improvements will likely require a City permit.

Q: What can't I do in the public right-of-way next to my property?
A: Without a City permit, you may not place a fence, wall or other structure in the public right-of-way. Nor may you use the public right-of-way for your private or commercial purposes.

Q: Do I have any responsibilities for maintaining the public right-of-way next to my property?
A: Yes. Everyone who owns or occupies property next to the public right-of-way has responsibility to make sure the right-of-way is available for public use. You must maintain areas next to the street or sidewalk in a neat, weed-free and debris-free condition. Please let the City know if there are large cracks or holes in the sidewalk!

Q: What laws and regulations apply to the public right-of-way?
A: There are many different laws and regulations that apply within rights-of-way including Federal, State and City laws regarding interstate commerce and communications, traffic operations, vehicle licensing, horticultural limitations, utility placement, and land uses. The new Streets Ordinance covers just a small portion of these various topics.

Q: Can I block the public from using the right-of-way next to my property?
A: No. The city may block public use of right-of-way if there are specific safety concerns.

Q: Can I stop a utility company from installing their facility in the public right-of-way next to my property?
A: No. The many utility companies that use the public rights-of-way have established that right through Federal and State laws, as well as local franchise and licensing agreements. Generally, the City does not (and often cannot) review or regulate specific utility facility locations. However, the City has developed mutual understandings with specific utility companies about certain design and safety considerations for utility facilities in the right-of-way.



Streets Ordinance PowerPoint Presentation (ppt/855kb/7pp)  
Current Ordinance 

Proposed Streets Ordinance Revisions (doc/185kb/17pp)


We invite you to comment on the proposed ordinance.

Contact: Kit Weiss at kweiss@scottsdaleaz.gov or 480-312-7616

Check this website for updates.