Site Development: Right-of-way vs. Easement

When one typically thinks of site development, property boundaries and site acreage are usually thought of as the most important factors but the right of way and easements can have a significant impact on the buildable area of a particular site.


A Right of Way (ROW) allows a person to enter a dedicated portion of a site to use a passage. It is commonly found adjacent to a public road and allocated for pedestrian sidewalks and street widening. The owner of the property is prohibited from building within the ROW for their own use.

Easements give another individual or entity the right to use the portion of the property allocated in the easement for a specific use. An easement comes in a couple of different forms: negative and affirmative. A negative easement prevents you from building within the easement, usually to maintain sightlines. An affirmative easement allows the individual or entity to allocate the easement for specific use (water lines, utilities, etc.).

Easement Example


EVstudio has walked many a client through the process of access when considering a site’s development. If you are interested in a site feasibility study please let us know. We will be more than happy to assist. Click here to ask any question you may have regarding site development, or leave a comment below.

To view resources form the State of Colorado, click here.


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