Unimproved Right-of-Way

Last Updated: 5-18-2017Print page

A group of volunteers clean up a street end

Unimproved right-of-way (ROW) are areas platted for alleys, streets, and paths, that have not been improved with paving. Shoreline street ends are specially designated types of unimproved ROW where streets are platted into the water. The boundaries of unimproved ROW can be difficult to discern because they may appear to be part of an adjacent property or are filled with overgrown vegetation and trees, making them hard to access.

These areas are dispersed throughout the city and may provide opportunities for communities to create public spaces. Community members can provide basic stewardship of unimproved ROW, including invasive species removal and trash pickup. A variety of neighborhood groups and nonprofit organizations have created community gardens and public gathering spaces in unimproved ROW. Each project, including stewardship activities, in unimproved ROW is unique and may require a variety of construction permits, depending on the scope of the proposal. If the plan includes site furnishings, such as benches and tables, a public space permit will be needed.