Frequently Asked Questions

What is the street right of way (ROW)?
The street ROW is the area containing the road that is reserved for public use. Typically the ROW is 10’-15’ beyond the edge of the road. The ROW is used for the road, underground utilities, above ground utilities such as telephone poles, sidewalks, curbs and street trees. Use of the public ROW is controlled by the Town

When do I need a permit?
All work done within the ROW is required by Town ordinance to have a permit. Typical permits include sidewalk repair, driveway apron, sewer connection and street opening. The Town also requires a permit for work on the house sewer lateral. The Town inspects the work done under the permit to ensure compliance with Town standards. In most cases, the contractor will take out the permit

Can I excavate in the street?
A permit is required if you need to excavate in the ROW. After obtaining a permit, the excavator should call 1-800-922-4455 before digging. When excavation is complete, the permittee is required to temporarily patch the pavement with 3" of hot bituminous concrete. The Town will return in six to twelve months to permanently repair the pavement. In cases where the excavated trench is greater than 200 feet long, the permittee is required to pave the road from curb to curb.

What do I do if tree roots damage my sidewalk?
The Town has a program to repair sidewalks damaged by tree roots from Town trees (trees within the ROW). Repairs are made on a priority basis and only a certain amount are completed each year based on the funding provided each year. When the repair is made, the tree roots may be cut back, and the concrete walk is replaced. The tree is not cut down. It is a rare case that the Tree Warden would allow a healthy tree to be taken down.

In all other cases, the property owner is responsible for maintenance of the sidewalk.

Where is my sewer connection and who is responsible for repairs?
Your home is connected to the Town sewer main in the street by means of the house sewer lateral. The Town has records of where the sewer lateral is connected at the main sewer in the street but most likely has no records of where the lateral runs to the house.

If you are the property owner, you are responsible for installation and maintenance of the lateral sewer from the house all the way to its connection to the main. This includes responsibility for clogs from grease, debris, tree roots and other causes occurring within the house lateral pipe.

Can the Town locate my property line and elevations?
The Town does not perform work on private properties for private entities, but we do have information in our records to assist in determining the property lines. You should contract with a private surveying company to survey your property lines (when putting in a fence, for instance) or to determine elevations (verifying flood elevations, for instance) on your own property.

Can my neighbor drain roof drains onto my property?
Your neighbor should not perform actions that could cause damage to your property. If your neighbor does cause damage to your property, then you may have recourse. Unfortunately, the Town Engineer’s office would not be able to help since there is no ordinance which prohibits this kind of action on private property. This action would be a private civil matter between you and your neighbor. The only action the Town would be involved in in this regard would be regulation of drainage discharging to the street, which is prohibited.

Additional Links

Contact Information

Engineering Department
Town Hall 2725 Main Street Stratford, CT 06615

Phone: (203) 385-4013