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The City has placed silver nails at the intersection visibility corners on your property and circled these with yellow or white paint to help you identify the area to clear. Stand at the farthest painted marker from the intersection and look at the 20’ mark to define your first intersection visibility area. Repeat on the other side of the corner for the second intersection visibility area. Watch the video on our website (www.redmond.gov/intersection-visibility) for additional instructions.
No, large trees should not be removed. They can remain, but please trim their branches to a height of 8 feet. Other objects that obstruct visibility such as fences, hedges, and large shrubs need to be removed. Objects 18 inches or less in width or diameter are allowed in the intersection visibility area when spaced at an adequate distance to not significantly obstruct the intersection visibility area.
The Redmond Zoning Code requires all property owners to keep intersection visibility areas clear of obstructions on their property and out to the adjacent street curb. If your intersection visibility area is not clear of obstructions, it is your responsibility to resolve the problem at your own expense.
The requirement to keep intersection visibility areas clear has been in City code since 1982 or earlier. Previously, city staff enforced the intersection visibility area for all new development in the city and responded to existing problems only when complaints were received for a particular location. In 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled against King County in a lawsuit involving a motorist who was hurt in a collision at an intersection where the intersection visibility was blocked by vegetation. With this ruling, staff consulted with the City Attorney and determined that “reasonable steps” included a city-wide inventory of all intersection visibility areas, and subsequent follow up with any property owners to have them trim back or remove vegetation or other objects blocking sight lines. This city-wide action represents a more proactive approach than the previous complaint driven response and should significantly reduce the risk of claims against the City and private property owners in collisions involving intersection visibility.
The first notice to homeowners is delivered via a door hanger left on the property approximately one month before the work needs to be completed. This door hanger includes an official notice, Frequently Asked Questions, and a photo of the obstruction with instructions. A second notice is mailed to homeowners approximately two weeks before the work is due to be completed.
Please call the number provided (425-556-2850) so we can discuss your specific situation in more detail.
In the summer of 2017, the city marked out, photographed, and mapped intersection visibility areas at public intersections throughout the city. We completed this work for 884 intersections and marked a total of 3,682 intersection visibility areas. Approximately 2,400 properties had some degree of obstruction. The city is now working to notify property owners of the obstructions and have them clear these intersection visibility areas. Due to large volume of properties, the city is sending out notifications in batches starting this summer. The city will systematically notify all of the properties who had obstructions identified in 2017.
Although mirrors can help with visibility around corners they are not a suitable alternative to clearing the sight triangle. Obstructions must still be removed.
The city inspects new homes when they are first built. However, the developer or contractor is ultimately responsible to meet the applicable codes and standards. Vegetation may have grown since the home was inspected or other obstructions such as fences could have been added at a later date. Unless a special permit was acquired for an intersection visibility obstruction (such as a garage) the obstruction is still subject to code. The City, through the Municipal Code, has the authority to enforce adherence to any codes and standards regardless of the prior inspection.
City staff surveyed your property in the summer of 2017 and confirmed the intersection visibility obstruction when delivering the initial notice. The city does not have staff capacity to make additional visits to all of the properties. We are happy to answer your questions about the obstruction or the work required. You can also send us a photo of your property if you need additional clarification.
The flyer or letter you received is to alert you of your intersection visibility obstruction and of your responsibility to keep this area clear as stated in the Redmond Zoning Code and is not subject to appeal. If it becomes necessary to serve you with a formal code enforcement order, then this order would be subject to appeal to the City Hearings Examiner. However, please be aware that this appeal would only be to decide if your intersection visibility area is obscured and not to determine if the code requirement is valid.