Public Works Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Trees & Vegetation in the Right of Way

Who is responsible for vegetation maintenance in the right of way?

Please see the Maintaining Vegetation and Right of Way Maintenance flyers for more information. Per KMC 12.70.040, maintenance of planting strips, including trees, tree limbs that protrude over the road and sidewalk, shrubbery, weeds, grass or other ground cover, will be the responsibility of the abutting property owner. Vegetation in planting strips will be kept in a condition that does not impair the use by the traveling public of the right of way.

Who is responsible for removing dead or hazardous trees in the right of way?

Adjacent property owners are responsible for vegetation maintenance. A permit may be required prior to removing the tree. Please visit the Development Services Trees page for information on tree removal. Additionally, if the tree is near and/or touching power lines, PSE may assist with trimming or removal.


Streets & Sidewalks

Who is responsible for road maintenance on private streets?

There is typically a "Road Maintenance Agreement" which is recorded with the plat assigning maintenance, repair and replacement responsibilities to the property owners who use the road for access. King County iMap or Parcel Viewer are helpful tools for property research.

Who is responsible for sidewalk maintenance and repairs?

Please see the Maintaining Sidewalks flyer for more information. Depending on the situation, sidewalk repairs may be the responsibility of the City or the adjacent property owner.

Who is responsible for repairing potholes on public streets?

Public Works Operations repairs potholes on most streets with the exception of private roads and SR 522 (NE Bothell Way) which is a state highway. To report potholes on SR 522, visit WSDOT's online service request portal.

How do I request the street sweeper to come down my street?

Street sweeping is not request based with the exception of safety issues such as gravel, or illicit discharge issues such as mud tracked on the road. The City has a contract for street sweeping which is scheduled to complete a full city sweep five times per year. The City operates it's own street sweeper weekly on the arterial roads to keep bike lanes free of debris. The City will also do additional city sweeps during the fall and winter months to clean up leafy debris.

There are markings spray painted on my property and on the street. What do they mean?

Most likely, someone has marked the location of underground utilities. Any individual can request these markings (free of charge) through Washington 811 and the law requires the utilities in the right of way to be marked.

Who is responsible for maintenance on fire hydrants?

Northshore Utility District maintains fire hydrants through a Hydrant Maintenance Program.

Who is responsible for repairing damaged guardrails?

Guardrails are maintained by King County through a service contract with the City of Kenmore. Please submit concerns directly to the City for review and routing.


Surface Water

How do I report a water quality concern or illegal dumping into the drainage system?

Please immediately call Public Works at (425) 398-8900 to report water quality violations and illegal dumping. If you call after hours, on-call staff are available to receive your call. Pollutants discharged into the environment can often migrate from the area quickly. Prompt reporting is often needed in order to stop pollutants from spreading and allows the City to hold the responsible party accountable.

How does the drainage system work around my property or neighborhood?

The City has a map of the drainage system available on the City's website under Public Works or you can view the map by clicking on this link. When viewing the map, select "stormwater" from the layers menu and the City's entire drainage system will be available to view.

When will the surface water facility adjacent to my property be mowed?

City owned surface water facilities, such as ponds and water quality swales, are typically mowed between May and September. The City owns many facilities and each round of mowing may take 4 - 6 weeks depending on seasonal variations. The City will complete 2 - 3 rounds of mowing per year.

What should I do if I see a blocked catch basin (drain)?

If the catch basin is in a busy roadway or you do not feel safe near it, please call Public Works and someone will assist you. A catch basin may be blocked for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, leaves or debris may be blocking the opening into the catch basin (particularly in fall) and simply removing the blockage from around the surface of the structure will allow it to drain. If the catch basin appears to be backed up internally, please call Public Works.

Who is responsible for maintenance of ditches?

Adjacent property owners are responsible for maintaining vegetation and aesthetics of ditches. Public Works only conducts maintenance required for the structural integrity and function of the ditch.

Who is responsible for maintenance of the drainage system on my property?

Typically, the City only operates and maintains the drainage system in public right-of-way and on City owned properties. Maintenance of drainage systems on private property is typically the responsibility of the property owner unless a recorded easement was granted to the City (or King County) for the purpose of maintaining the drainage system.

Can I fill in my ditch to create extra parking?

No, ditch filling is generally not allowed. Drainage systems utilizing ditches are not designed to function the same as systems utilizing curbs, gutters and catch basins and intermittent ditch filling often leads to system wide issues, add polluted runoff and creates flooding problems downstream.



What are the rules for street parking throughout the City?

Please visit the Street Parking page for more information.

Where do I report illegal parking?

Police enforce illegally parked vehicles on public streets. Please report illegal parking to King County Sheriff Non-Emergency Dispatch at (206) 296-3311 or report online. City staff does not have the ability to ticket and/or tow illegally parking vehicles.

What can the City do to help with speeding vehicles on my street?

Please visit the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program page for more information.

Who controls the traffic signal timing throughout the City?

Washington State Department of Transportation operates and maintains signals on SR 522 and within 1 block of the highway. King County operates and maintains the remaining signals. City staff works closely with King County and WSDOT. Please submit concerns regarding traffic signals directly to the City for review and routing to the appropriate jurisdiction.

How do I turn out from a street or driveway if I can't adequately see oncoming traffic?

Please see the Intersection Sight Distance flyer for more information.



How do I reserve the picnic shelter at Rhododendron Park?

The picnic shelter reservations are managed by the Kenmore Senior Center at (425) 489-0707.

Is the picnic shelter at Moorlands Park available for rental?

Not at this time. The shelter is available for use on a first come, first serve basis.

Can I bring a barbecue grill to use at a City park?

Yes, however no open flames are allowed.

Can I leave my boat tied to the pier at Log Boom Park?

Daytime moorage is permitted. Overnight moorage is not allowed.

How do I reserve the athletic field at Moorlands Park?

Please visit the Moorlands Park Athletic Field page for more information.


Snow & Ice

Who is responsible for clearing snow & ice from sidewalks?

Per KMC 12.70.050, the adjacent property owner is responsible for removal.

Why hasn't the snow plow cleared my street?

Snow and ice are cleared based on priority routes as shown on the Snow Removal Priority Map. First priority roads will be treated until they are safe to travel. Crews will then move on to second priority roads. If the weather event is still in progress, crews will move back to first priority roads until they are once again safe. Despite the use of four-wheel drive and chains, some streets are still not safely navigable by the City's fleet. A decision to close a road may be made if it is deemed too hazardous to safely treat.


Private Property

Who is responsible for removing dead or hazardous trees on private property?

The property owner is responsible for removal. Please visit the Development Service's Trees page for information on tree removal.

Do I need a permit to remove a healthy tree on my own private property?

The City requires a tree removal application for all tree removal not related to development. Please visit the Development Service's Trees page for information on tree removal.

How do I locate my underground water and sewer lines?

Please visit Northshore Utility District's page on Locating Water and Sewer Lines.

What do I need to do prior to digging on my property?

Please visit the Washington 811 website to learn more about safe digging requirements.

How can I find out where my property line is located?

Visit King County Parcel Viewer or iMap to view an approximate location of your parcel's property lines. For an accurate measurement, hire a professional surveyor. The City does not keep records of property lines.


Other Issues

Please visit the Code Compliance page for more information on construction and building violations, noise or other issues on active construction sites, issues on private property, etc.


Last updated: Tue, 11/05/2019 - 10:11am