Road Vacations

What is a road vacation?
A road or right-of-way vacation is governed by R.C.W. 36.87. It is a process where land owners can have the public’s interest in roads or right-of-ways removed. Although the right of way may have been vacated, the rights and interests of private individuals and companies may still encumber the road or right-of-way. Utility easements may also still encumber the areas vacated. What is given up in the vacation process is only the right of the general public to use the vacated road or right-of-way.

Who asks for a vacation?
Any landowner who wants the road or right-of-way which abuts their property vacated.

Who decides if the road is vacated?
The Stevens County Board of Commissioners is empowered with deciding if a road or right-of-way will be vacated. The Commissioners rely on recommendations from the County Engineer and on testimony at a public hearing which must be held before a road can be vacated. They are responsible for protecting the general public’s interest and the vacation is at their discretion.

When the road has been vacated by operation of law, or statute, the Board of Commissioners generally adopts a resolution recognizing the statutory vacation.

How long does a vacation take?
It usually takes six to eight weeks before the public hearing can be set. This can be done only after the petition is returned, with the proper signatures, to the Department of Public Works for processing. If the vacation is done by resolution the time and date of the hearing must be posted on the area to be vacated and it also must be published in the public notice section of the official county newspaper.

How much does it cost?
The petitioning fee for vacation of road right-of-way is between $250.00 and $750.00.  Depending on the type of vacation being requested a survey may be required and there may be further compensation owed to the county.


Request a Petition

Applications may be obtained from the Public Works Administration Office. You may request to have one sent to you through the mail by calling (509) 684-4548 or request a petition by email.