The way the City’s definitions of right-of-ways are structured means that unimproved right-of-ways do not trigger front yard setback requirements.
The City recently became aware that its policy of treating unimproved roadway right-of-way as a street creating a front yard setback is not supported by the definitions within the City Code. In cases where the roadway right-of-way will never be improved, this is desirable as it removes unnecessary restrictions from properties and reduces the need for the City to process and grant variance requests. In cases where the roadway right-of-way will be improved, this is problematic as it allows for the construction of structures and fences in locations that could interfere with future roadway sight lines, harming public safety, or in locations that are detrimental to neighborhood aesthetics.
Staff is recommending that the definition of street be amended to include roadway right-of-ways in which a future roadway will be constructed. This change will prevent improvements constructed along currently vacant right-of-ways from negatively impacting future roadways and neighborhoods.
The following section of the Chanhassen City Code is subject to changes:
Section 1-2 - Rules of Construction and Definitions
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