Public Rights of Way & Management
Public rights of way is the land that the city owns on behalf of resident and the public benefits. This land includes streets, sidewalks, land for utilities, walkways, etc. The rights of way is our largest city property and one of its most valuable and commonly used public assets.
The public rights of way plays a critical role as it surrounds and connects our city. While our community uses the public rights of way every day, private and public utilities also use the rights of way. Electric, natural gas, water, telephone utilities, and cable and telecommunications providers use the public rights of way when they place and install their equipment, such as utility poles, power lines, sewer lines, and fiber optic cables, above or under public roads and sidewalks.
The City of Lake Oswego retains control of rights of way areas within the City’s boundaries. Non-City utilities that wish to construct and operate infrastructure within the right-of-way must have a Rights of Way License or an effective franchise agreement with the City.
As required in Lake Oswego Code Chapter 51 (“Utilities Facilities in Public Rights of Way”), every person who owns, controls, or uses utility facilities in the public rights of way must obtain a five-year rights of way (ROW) license from the City.
Utility operators with an unexpired franchise agreement in effect and in good standing as of the effective date of Chapter 51 will be upheld for the remainder of the term of that franchise agreement.