St. Joseph has policies regulating the use of boulevard and easement areas. The boulevard (the distance from the back of curb to the property line) is part of the street right-of-way. It is used for sewer, water and street installation and maintenance as well as electric, gas, telephone and cable TV lines. The boulevard is typically 15 feet in residential neighborhoods. In addition, in residential areas, there is typically a 5 to 6-foot drainage and utility easement along the rear and interior lot lines and 10 to 12 feet along streets and alleys of each residential lot. Boulevard and easement areas are designed for public utilities, storm water drainage and the storage of snow plowed from the street. Items such as rocks, posts, trees, etc., should not be placed in those areas.
If your yard or boulevard has been marked with paint or small flags, this means that someone is planning to perform work in the area, and has called Gopher State One Call system for a utility locate. The white markings represent the proposed excavation area. The other color markings and flags represent underground utilities that are located in and near the proposed excavation area. Often the flags identify the parties who are doing the work. You may wish to contact them to determine what activities are planned.
Before planting trees or placing other items on the street right-of-way or within adjacent drainage and utility easements, residents should check with the Planning Department (320) 229-9425 to determine minimum setbacks from the street curb.
Under state law, if you are planning to do any work on your property that involves excavation greater than six inches deep, you need to contact Gopher State One Call system 48 hours before you plan to dig. Gopher State One Call will notify any known parties who have underground utilities in the area that a locate has been ordered. The operators are then required by law to mark their utilities with paint or flags. There is no fee for this service. The number for Gopher State One Call is 811.