Planning & Development

The Development division manages the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects that impact the City’s public infrastructure, right-of-way, and stormwater management system. The division is responsible for managing state and federal grant dollars used for infrastructure projects, including the City’s street maintenance program. The Development division’s Storm water management plan ensures the City’s compliance with state and national requirements designed to protect our natural waterways from pollutants. A Sustainable Sewer Solutions Program is being implemented as part of the CIP to repair the City’s sanitary sewer lines.

The Planning division works closely with all other City Departments/Divisions, as well as County, State and Federal agencies and neighboring municipalities to ensure that current and future developments fit the City’s short, medium, and long-term goals.  In addition, the division is responsible for managing state and federal grant dollars used for a wide variety of City Departments. The Planning Division also assists the Development Division in the management of infrastructure project grants.

The City’s Geographic Information System—or GIS mapping—is developed and maintained by the Planning Division, providing departments, residents, developers and utility companies easy access to the location of property lines, easements, utilities, zoning and more.

The Planning and Development Divisions are each responsible for contracting with Professional Engineering Services and providing inspection and engineering design assistance for City projects and new commercial or residential developments.

The Planning Division oversees the creation and implementation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as the Downtown Corridor, U.S. 422 Corridor, and other specific master plans.

Citywide Projects

  • 2022 Local Resurfacing Project
  • TRU Salt Springs / East Federal Resurfacing project
  • 24″ valve replacement project
  • Difford Dr. Water loop project
  • Maple Ave. Waterline replacement project
  • North Road Waterline replacement project
  • Niles traffic signal system project
  • 2022 CDBG Hydrant / Sidewalk replacement project
  • U.S. 422 Planning Grant
  • Niles Comprehensive plan


The City has right of way, but the homeowner is responsible for maintenance 

Maintaining the sidewalks is the homeowner’s responsibility.

To carry out a street curb cut that is adjacent to your property, a permit required. The permit is $6.00.

A right of way easement dates back to common law principles of the right to the free flow of water, and for allowing neighboring landowners the ability to travel over another’s property. A right of way is a type of easement that allows a person to pass through another’s land. Typically, a right of way easement is a roadway or pathway for travel through another’s property that benefits a particular person or benefits another parcel of land. This type of easement allows reasonable use for the passage and right of travel to the person holding it, or for the land whose benefit the right of way easement was established. The owner of the land keeps the benefits and privileges of ownership as specified in the easement. Although ownership rights of property are lessened by an easement, society at large benefits from the additional freedom of movement.

Understanding a Right of Way Easement
An easement is a non-possessory right to use another person’s land. The land burdened by the easement is called the “servient land or estate”; the land that has the benefit of the easement is the “dominant land or estate”. An easement is classified as an easement in gross (personal to the individuals) or an easement appurtenant (tied to the land). A title search would reveal an easement appurtenant but not an easement in gross. An example of a personal right of way, or easement in gross would be the following description: “John Jones is permitted to travel across the land for hunting and fishing purposes only and for his use.” A right of way that’s tied to the land, or easement appurtenant, consists of recording an easement over one’s land as follows: “the lands currently owned by John Jones located at 125 Eighth Avenue, San Ramon, California to travel over to obtain access to this property over the lands of the grantor.”

A right of way easement can be described precisely by way of a surveyor’s description, or it can be general. A generally described right of way is called a floating easement. A floating easement may read: “the right for the owner of parcel “A” to pass over the land of parcel “B” to get to the stream for fishing.”

In general, the easement must be in written form. However, if someone uses part of your property over time without your permission, the person may claim a prescriptive easement. Legal action would then be necessary to determine if an easement was created.

Typical Examples of Right of Way Easements
Utility easements are commonly used for underground or above ground utilities or where the utility company is provided access to the utility lines for repair and maintenance for the electrical lines or water lines. Easements for railroad tracks are common when the railroad doesn’t actually own the land the trains travel on. Roadways over one property to another for automobiles, equipment, and cattle to travel and pass over is another example of an easement. Right of ways are also created for pipelines to transport water between neighbors.

A permit is required to tap into any water or sewer line in the City. Please contact the department for more information.

  1. A Comprehensive Plan is an expression of the community’s vision for the future and a strategic map to reach that vision.

Helpful links


City Building

34 West State Street

Niles, Ohio 44446

Kevin Robertson

Public Utilities Coordinator
Project Manager
Water Superintendent
Planner / Grant Coordinator

OPWC - Capital Improvement Report

Street Cut Permit

Backflow Prevention Program