Property Owner Rights in the Road Right-of-Way

Other than for highway travel purposes, any activity within, or use of, the right-of-way along roads under the jurisdiction of the Jackson County Department of Transportation is subject to a review and permitting process.

This review and permit process has been established to help ensure safe travel on roads in Jackson County by discouraging those activities or objects that may create a hazard. The process controls those activities that may interfere with snow removal, road maintenance, drainage or future road improvement projects as well.

Permits will not be issued where a reasonable alternative exists outside of the road right-of-way. The Department of Transportation reserves the right to remove, at owner's expense, non-permitted items placed or constructed within the road right-of-way.

Permitted Activities

Permitted activities include, and are not limited to the following:

  • New or modifications to existing driveways
  • Roads to access existing driveways
  • Utilities
  • Tree and brush removal
  • Seismographic exploration
  • Oversize and/or overweight loads

Non-Permitted Activities

Activities not permitted include, and not limited to the placement of:

  • Berms
  • Fences
  • Landscaping rocks/stones/boulders
  • Lighting
  • Retaining walls
  • Septic tanks, drain fields, or wells
  • Signs
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Structures
  • Trees, shrubs, and bushes
  • Any other item the Department of Transportation considers hazardous


Mailboxes are allowed within the right-of-way without a permit and must be installed in a manner to minimize any traffic hazard. Property owners should consult their local post office for postal standards for installation regarding height and distance from the road. It is suggested that the actual structure be a single mailbox installed on a single "breakaway" post. To minimize the possibility of liability should an errant vehicle strike the structure, mailbox owners must resist the urge to reinforce or strengthen the post.

Contacting the JCDOT

The road right-of-way is generally 66 feet (33 feet on either side of the center line of the road). Rights-of-way may be narrower or wider in certain situations. Before proceeding with any activity along a Jackson County road, please contact the Jackson County Department of Transportation to verify the right-of-way and whether a permit is required. To prevent serious injury or damage, property owners must call MISS DIG at 800-482-7171 to locate and mark any buried facility such as gas, electric, telephone, cable television, and other communication lines that may be in the construction area.

Your cooperation will help keep our roadsides free of obstacles and hazards and ensure safer travel and more efficient maintenance on the roads in Jackson County. Please contact the Jackson County Department of Transportation at:

2400 North Elm Road

Jackson, MI 49201-7643


Phone: 517-788-4230