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New right-of-way rules

There have been some changes to what’s allowed in the rights-of-way on our streets – we wanted to explain those changes, and also remind residents and property owners about some ordinances we already have in place. If you have any questions, please call, email or stop by Town Hall for more information: (910) 278-5011 or email our Town Planner, Jake Vares, at planner@ci.oak-island.nc.us.

  • What is the right-of-way, anyway? A lot of people think that their property extends all the way to the road pavement, but that’s actually not the case. The size of the right-of-way varies, but typically, the street right-of-way measures 30 feet from the center of the road. For many island properties, that means that the 20 or so feet closest to the edge of the street is part of the street right-of-way, not your yard.
  • Can I park in the right-of-way? Yes, you can park in the right-of-way, up to 72 hours (24 hours on State roads). This is what the ordinance now says: “Vehicular parking; motor vehicles, which are self-propelled and designed to run upon the highways, shall be permitted to park on public right-of-ways and shall remain no longer than 72 hours…”
  • Can I park my boat trailer there? No, you cannot park a boat trailer in the right-of-way. A trailer attached to a vehicle can be on the right-of-way up to 72 hours, but the trailer cannot be parked there on its own. This rule also applies to travel trailers, work trailers, and anything else that is not self-propelled – don’t park it in the right-of-way.
  • What about construction workers parking at construction sites? Construction workers can park on the lot that they’re working on, or in the right-of-way for that property. Parking on the right-of-way of adjacent properties is allowed for up to 72 hours. Parking on adjacent private property is only allowed with permission from that property owner. Construction vehicles are not to be parked on the road or block the road.
  • Can the Town make me remove items I have in the right-of-way? Yes, the Town can enforce the ordinances with citations or through code enforcement actions.