With heavy rains and snowmelt, many storm ponds rise. The City may need to access your water and sewer pipes. There also may be a conservation area next to a wetland or lake. Do you know about areas of your yard designated for public purposes? Such areas are under "public easements." Often, they support stormwater retention and drainage, utility services, and natural resources.


What are they?

Public easements are legal rights to use another's property for a specific purpose. While property owners keep legal title, public easements often stay with properties. Designated areas may look like the rest of your yard.

The City has a drainage and utility easement (D&U) on most properties. Our D&Us support operation and maintenance of stormwater systems and public utilities. There should be no access obstructions. Without expressed permission, the City restricts the following in D&U areas:

  • Grading that raises or lowers elevations, affecting drainage
  • Structures that could wash away or block drainage. 

Fences, swimming pools, trees, or sheds in D&U areas may be problems in emergencies. Access to broken utility lines and underground pipes may be difficult or impossible. For more information about D&Us, contact City Engineering at (651) 675-5646.

Areas under a conservation easement (CE) are much less common. Our CEs preserve and protect water quality, wildlife, and natural habitats. Without expressed permission, the City restricts activities and objects in CE areas. For example, there should be no landscaping, lawn furniture, and yard waste.

To protect natural resources and maintain CE areas, we encourage property owners to:

  • Clean up litter
  • Report any filling, grading, storage, or dumping

To report problems or for more information about CEs, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at (651) 675-5300.


Where are they?

Standard D&U areas are 10-feet wide at front yards and 5-feet wide at side and rear yards, but this varies. D&Us also overlay stormwater basins, high-water levels, and infrastructure.

You may not know if or where your property has D&U areas. Most D&Us originated with an approved plat or development. You can check your deed or find information at: www.co.dakota.mn.us/HomeProperty/PlatsSurveys/OnlineSearch/Pages. For more information about D&Us, contact City Engineering at (651) 675-5646.

In Eagan, CE areas often are near a lake or wetland, and each one's dimensions and size are different. For more information about CEs, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at (651) 675-5300.


What is right-of-way?

Right-of-way (ROW) is property dedicated for public streets, sidewalks, trails, etc. ROWs in Eagan are separate and distinct from adjacent lots or parcels. They are not included within the dimensions or areas of property plats. For more information about ROWs, contact City Engineering at (651) 675-5646.