Right of Way Boundaries

Header Image
Aerial image of downtown building under construction

This page explains property boundaries and answers questions regarding the location of the right of way. You can locate your property boundaries without hiring a survey crew or having to consult city staff. For major projects, a professional surveyor will need to establish the boundaries for accuracy.

Rights of way include all public streets and property, together with public property reserved for public utilities, transmission lines and extensions, walkways, sidewalks, bikeways and equestrian trails.

Location of the right of way

The location of city right of way is not determined by the width of the paved street. As a result, driveways, landscaping and walkways are sometimes installed in the right of way. Often, property owners mistake the edge of the roadway for the extent of their property. Most of the time the location of the right of way can be identified by locating a water meter. Water meters are usually placed outside the property, just within the right of way.

Lines indicate the extent of the property line, showing landscaping and trees within the right of way. Water meters are typically located within the right of way.

image of right of way

Working in the right of way

Removing trees or vegetation within the right of way requires authorization from city officials.

When property owners mistake their property line to be the edge of the road, trees belonging to the city of Bellevue are sometimes damaged, or removed without permission. Compensation for such damages can be very costly because city policy requires charging triple the value of the tree.

Installation of structures in the right of way

Installation of mailboxes, fences, rockeries, or retaining walls must be approved by city officials because these objects may restrict sight distance or accessibility. The city may require the removal of unauthorized objects in the right of way.

Where can I find additional information?

You can find an aerial map of your property through this King County website in order to check your property boundaries. See http://gismaps.kingcounty.gov/parcelviewer2/