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Dead/dying trees located in the right-of-way are the responsibility of the property owner for removal. The RCKC may remove trees from the public right-of-way that is not designed for vehicular travel, but has the discretion not to do so. If a property owner wishes to remove, trim or prune a tree that is located in the right-of-way they must complete a permit application to work within the public right-of-way with the RCKC.
RCKC Roadside Vegetation Management Policy
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The width of the county road right-of-way can vary a great deal. However, the general rule of thumb is that the road right-of-way is 66 feet wide, approximately 33 feet on both sides of the center of the road. There are instances where the road centerline does not match the center of the road right-of-way. It is advisable to utilize Kalamazoo County's Geographic Information System (GIS) site to determine the actual width and location of the road right-of-way.
More often than not, damage to mailboxes is caused by snow pushing against weakened posts or hardware. Proper maintenance may help to prevent damage during winter maintenance operations. RCKC policy notes that an owner must clearly demonstrate the damage to a mailbox was caused by direct contact by road commission equipment. However, if a snow shield is installed, the Board will not reimburse for any direct contact damage to mailboxes and/or snow shield. The Board will not assume responsibility for mailbox damage that may be caused by snow/ice that is being plowed from the roadway. (See Mailboxes and Mailbox Supports)
Trees do add beauty, color and character to our roadsides, but if they're too close to the road edge, they can be both hazardous and a potential liability for property owners, utilities and the Road Commission. RCKC has prepared a brochure that provides guidelines on the roadside planting of trees and shrubs, explaining what will not only meet requirements but also improve the likelihood of tree survival and reduced maintenance as the tree matures.
RCKC Guidelines for Planting Trees and Shrubs Near Roads Maintained by the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County.
If a dead animal is causing a road hazard, or blocking the traveled portion of the road; RCKC crews will move the dead animal off the road and let nature take its course. Their crews will make an effort, if they find a tag or telephone number, to contact the owner of a domestic dead animal. They will not dispose of any dead animals.
While you may reside on a private road that is not maintained by the Road Commission, as a Township resident, you frequently travel on the public roadways. As such, all residents with a buildable parcel are assessed for the Road Maintenance Assessment.