Denver’s Street System: The City of Denver owns and operates pieces of property which are dedicated as Right of Way (ROW) for transportation and utility needs. The responsibility to operate, maintain, and permit work, in the ROW falls to the City and County of Denver Public Works Department.
ROW provides the legal right of use for pedestrians, vehicles and other conveyances; it generally includes roadways, connected tree-lawns, sidewalks, and alleys. The ROW is also utilized for important public services such as emergency police and fire response, waste pick-up, and vital utility infrastructure such as electrical wires, water, wastewater, and storm water conveyance.
What is a ROW Vacation?
The term "Vacation" as it relates to a public roadway, means the right "to abandon" or "to give up" the public's right to use the road or road ROW for transportation. When a request to vacate a ROW is made, a review is completed to determine if the required utility and transportation needs can be met without this piece of property being a dedicated ROW.
Why Vacating ROW might be appropriate?
There are several circumstances that the City of Denver may vacate ROW. In some cases, a road or ROW is no longer needed for public use could be vacated if it interferes with a property owner's use of the land (for building a fence, a house, etc...). Other circumstances could include elimination of unused alleyways, dead-end roadways, or cleaning up excess or historical ROW remnants that are no longer needed. If a property owner or community of property owners wish to operate the ROW as private roadway, they may request that the City vacate the ROW. When a request to vacate a ROW is made, a review is completed to determine if the required transportation, service, and utility needs can be properly met without this piece of property being a dedicated ROW.
The City and County of Denver Public Works Department maintains an established process for Vacating ROW (see Permit PWPT 304 - PDF)
Important issues must be considered before submitting an application, including: