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Frequently Asked Questions


The water from my neighbor’s yard is running into my yard and causing it to erode, what can the city do?
A. Erosion is a natural occurrence when large amounts of water runoff occur in a concentrated area over a period of time. It is not illegal for rainwater to run from one property to another. If the water is causing erosion on your property it is the property owner’s responsibility to take action to prevent erosion. 

Q. I have a ditch, creek, or stream on my property, who maintains it?
A. The city currently maintains all ditches located on the right of way of the city (this does not include grass mowing or trash removal). If the ditch, creek, or stream is located on private property it is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain. If it is located on the common area of a subdivision it is the responsibility of the Home Owners Association to maintain. Dutchman’s Creek and other larger bodies of water are owned by the State of North Carolina.

Q. I have a ditch in my front yard along the roadway that I would like to fill in...can I do that?
A. The ditch in your front yard (along the right of way) is part of the cities stormwater system and is maintained by the city *see above* question. If you live on a state-maintained road the state maintains the ditches also. You will need to contact the Stormwater Department to discuss your options. 

Q. What is the purpose of the $2.50 I pay for stormwater?
A. The fee that you pay each month to Stormwater is collected to fund the Stormwater program to meet the state requirements. This does include some money to be used to repair the Municipal Storm Sewer System, which includes ditches along the road right of way, but not devices located on private property. The main focus of the Stormwater program is to educate the public and to prevent pollution.

Q. What is a Right of Way and an Easement?
A. A Right of Way is a section of your yard that follows the roadway on which you cannot place any permanent structures. It is used to allow utilities such as water, sewer, telephone, and gas to work in your yard. Normal right of ways are 15 feet from the center of the road although some are more, some are less. The stormwater ditch that falls in the right of way is maintained by the city, meaning that if it gets filled up with dirt the city will clean it out or if the pipe is blocked the city will unstop it. The city does not mow grass or remove trash from these ditches. 

An Easement is similar to a right of way with the main difference being that an easement normally does not follow the roadway. Easements are used to allow utilities to run through private property and restricts the property owner from placing permanent structures in that area. If problems such as sinkholes develop along the easement, the city will investigate to see if it was caused by the underground utility. Some easements are temporary for the purpose of construction; this information can be found on the property deed.

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