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Most vacant land in the city is privately owned and, therefore, may be developed. Please call 651-730-2721 to learn more about ownership of the adjacent property and how it is zoned.
A homeowners association is an affiliation of homeowners in a specific development that oversees the enforcement of private covenants and in some cases, maintains private streets and common areas. It is common for association members to pay a monthly fee. Contact your developer to determine if an association has been formed in your development. Ask for a copy of the association documents and review them to learn about fees and the rights and responsibilities of the association.
Such covenants are private rules that cover all of the properties within a specific development and regulate such things as the size and type of allowed fences and exterior colors of homes. These private rules are enforced by associations and not by the city. You may find it very helpful to ask for a copy of the covenants beforehand to review.
No. A warranty is a seller’s assurance to the buyer that the final product will be as promised and the city has no authority over private contracts or warranties. The city’s responsibility is to review plans and perform inspections to ensure compliance with city codes during the development and construction phase.
There are several types of easements: drainage, utility, scenic, etc. Easements on your lot are typically for drainage and utilities. Although you own the property, easements give certain public and private entities the right to enter the property to perform repair and maintenance. All easements on your property should be shown on the lot survey or plat, or described within the title documents.
If the streets within a development are private, the individuals within the development own the streets, usually as part of the homeowners association. Homeowners associations typically hire a private contractor to plow and maintain the streets as the city does not plow or maintain private streets.
The water level in the pond may rise and fall, and its appearance may change from season to season. The area surrounding wetlands/ponds (generally 25 feet around the perimeter) is owned by the city or state. It is important to not maintain this area as an extension of your yard. The natural growth around wetland filters out harmful sediments from entering the water and creating algae. In most cases, Canadian geese are less apt to visit or nest in a wetland with its natural growth area intact.
Also, you are reminded to not dispose of grass clippings or animal excrement in or near ponding areas or in streets/sewers. Grass clippings and other materials adversely affect the water quality of our wetlands and lakes. Floatation devices (boats, canoes, rafts, etc.) may only be used on Tanners Lake, located at I-94 and Geneva Avenue. In addition to addressing safety concerns, these guidelines protect our bodies of water and their abundant wildlife – including fish, turtles, birds, and mammals, that live and nest in and near the water. If you have questions, please call 651-730-2723.
A Minnesota statute defines a nuisance as follows: “Anything which is... an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, is a nuisance.” In the context of neighbors and their trees, the branches from your neighbor’s tree that rub against your roof or the roots that push up your sidewalk are considered a nuisance. What about your neighbor’s tree that leans far into your yard and prevents your use of a corner of your yard? If that tree interferes with the free use and enjoyment of your own property, then the tree has become a nuisance.
Courts sometimes use a more complex definition, but for most purposes, a boundary tree is one that is either planted on the boundary line between two lots or a tree whose branches, trunk, or roots have crossed a boundary.
Generally, the location of the trunk determines who owns the tree. A tree trunk that stands solely in your yard is your tree. As the tree owner, you can decide to coddle your tree or cut it down, even if your neighbor protest that removing your tree will expose his once-shaded patio to the blazing sun.
Tip: If you and your neighbor are co-owners of a true boundary-line tree, then you cannot cut down the tree without your neighbor’s consent, and vice-versa. You and your neighbor share the tree-care expenses and responsibilities equally.
A survey is the best way to determine the boundary lines of a lot. Look for surveyor stakes or boundary markers. A plat map and legal descriptions help, too. Often neighbors know where the boundary is between their lots.
Tip: Talk to your neighbor, if you have any doubt about the location of the boundary line.
See our When Roots or Branches Encroach in Your Yard page.
Property owners in every state have the right to trim the branches or roots of a neighbor’s tree that encroach onto their property, up to the property line, at their own expense. This right is called “self-help.” Self-help is an alterative to going to court. The rationale is that self-help prevents the wasteful use of the court system to resolve comparatively minor disputes. It’s a trade-off: you have the right to cut and remove the encroaching branches or roots of your neighbor’s tree, right away, at your own expense (i.e., use self-help), instead of having to hire a lawyer, start a lawsuit, and wait for the courts to sort it out. Using self-help saves you time and money, and keeps the courts from settling disputes between neighbors. In Minnesota, you have the option of using self-help or going to court, when using self-help is not practical or reasonable. In most other states, self-help is the exclusive remedy.
Cutting down a tree on another person’s property without permission is trespass and carried a stiff penalty. In Minnesota, whoever intentionally cuts down a tree without the owner’s permission can be assessed three times (“treble”) the amount of monetary loss suffered by the tree owner.
Tip: Don’t engage in stealth tree-cutting when your neighbor has gone on vacation. You’re setting yourself up to pay three times your neighbor’s loss.
Leaves, twigs, sap, acorns, etc., are naturally occurring tree debris and do not generally constitute a nuisance. There are no court cases in Minnesota that directly deal with this issue. However, courts in other states have recognized that tree owners are liable for “sensible damage” caused by their trees, such as a damaged roof, but not mere debris from a healthy tree. Going to court to have a neighbor ordered to pick up fallen debris is not practical or economical.
The rule of thumb is that the fruit on the overhanging branches belongs to the tree owner. Picking the fruit may not be so simple. Ownership of the fruit does not give your neighbor any right to trespass onto your property to pick the fruit. The law in Minnesota on this subject is not clear cut. Courts would probably weigh your right to keep trespassers out of your yard against the owner’s right to harvest the fruit. The balance may tip in favor of your neighbor, if she owns an orchard and depends on the fruit for her livelihood. The law is also unclear on the issue of fallen fruit. Once it has fallen, the fruit’s value diminishes. It has become, for all practical purposes, “tree debris.” You should be able to use or dispose of the fruit, if your neighbor says nothing about wanting it.
None. If the tree trunk was in your neighbor’s yard, it’s her tree. She has the right to cut it down, even for the heck of it, and even it doing so exposes your prize-winning hosta garden to all-day sun.
The best approach is to try to work out the dispute with your neighbor.
Look in the Yellow Pages under “Attorneys/Real Estate or Real Property Law.” Also, look in the Gray Pages of the phone directory for Lawyer Referral and Information Service. This service’s attorneys often provide a half-hour free consultation to people referred to them.
Experts indicated a 4 foot fence is adequate for 99% of dogs and still allows adult deer to clear.
The park is designed to allow for handicap access and wood chips are not considered an ADA compliant surface.
Paving of the lot is a future improvement that will be considered based on usage at the park.
Water is the other item that is considered a potential future improvement. Pet owners are encouraged to bring water with them.
Here are the rules:
If you stop at the Police Department after hours, please use the speaker box located to the right of the main doors to City Hall. You will be connected to Washington County. Call 911 for any situation that requires the response of police, fire, or emergency personnel -- damage to property, parking complaints, traffic situations, suspicious activity, etc., as well as for emergencies.
Registered owners of impounded vehicles need to show proof of title, insurance, and proof of being a valid driver to the Oakdale Police Department, 1584 Hadley North Oakdale MN 55128.
Tickets may only be paid at the Washington County Government Center in Stillwater, 14949 - 62nd Street North or call 651-430-6000.
Complete a data release form and send it to address.
You can apply online for a right-of-way permit, here:
Apply for Permit
Residential bills are sent out quarterly and due on the 20th of the month. Depending which billing cycle you are in, determines which months your bill is due.
Yes, if you sign up for our online service through PSN you will be able to register for online billing.
Once in awhile mail disappears for some unknown reason. Don't panic, just call the Utility Billing Department and another bill will be mailed out to you.
Check your usage on your bill, has it increased significantly compared to previous quarters or years? This will increase your water usage charge and possibly your sewer usage charge, depending on what time of the year it is. Think of reasons your usage may have gone up...outside watering, house guests, filling a pool, ice rink, or maybe even a leak.
This is your water usage per quarter and the letter represents the month your meter was read.
Your average annual sewer usage is established during your winter billing quarter. This is usually the quarter with the most water going into the wastewater system and not outside.
This is a maintenance fee for all signal lights and street lights throughout Oakdale. All residents pay this fee.
The meters transmit a radio signal containing a meter number and a meter reading that can be picked up by a radio receiver in the city’s vehicle. The meter reading from that transmission is used to generate the utility bill. The transmission lasts for 7 milliseconds (07 of one second) and occurs once every 14 seconds, using less than 100 milliwatts of power. This regular transmission allows the city to capture readings as it drives by and on-demand should a special reading be needed. In other words, the meters transmit about 45 seconds a day from a single "D" cell battery.
Most water meters are located about three feet off the floor in the basement of your home. It is usually located on an exterior wall facing the street.
Your current water meter is a device with a round face attached on each side to your water pipes. The face has dials and the numbers on the bottom read like a car odometer.
Your meter will have a digital face without dials, and you will not see a meter reading unless you shine a flashlight into the light sensor.
If you notice water leaking at your meter, see if you can determine if the leak is before the meter or after the meter. You will need to contact the Public Works Department if the leak is before the meter. An appointment will be scheduled for someone to come fix the leak. Anything after the meter is the homeowner's responsibility and you will need to contact a plumber to fix the leak.
The meter needs to be accessible at any time. If you have done renovation work, your meter needs to be accessible either by an access panel or other such means.
No, your meter does not require any maintenance by the homeowner; however, you should be careful not to damage the meter or allow temperatures in your basement to drop to levels that would freeze the meter during the winter months. Be especially careful of your meter freezing if you have renovated and your meter is now behind a wall or panel as you will be charged for replacing the meter if it should freeze or sustain damage.
Meter readings obtained over radio frequency transmissions are 100% accurate.
Your meter will be read at the same intervals throughout each year. Residential meters are read quarterly and commercial meters are read monthly.
You can take a reading of the water meter yourself at any time. You must use a flashlight over the top of the meter, this will “wake up” the meter from a sleep mode. This is how the meter is able to save its battery life by going into a sleep mode. Then you are able to see the meter reading on the display.
You may contact the Utility Billing department with any questions about your water bill.
Because of the specialized equipment and alternating frequencies being used, the information would be extremely difficult for unauthorized acquisition or hacking. The transmission itself contains only the numbers associated with your current meter reading and number identifying your meter to compare with our records to ensure a match. To protect your privacy, no personal data is transmitted.
No, only ordinary electronics and batteries are inside the equipment.
No, you will not see interference with your television reception, phone or pacemaker. Of the 9 million Neptune water meters in operation for the past 13 years, no interference with any other RF devices has ever been documented.
No, this equipment uses a radio transmitter to send the information to city personnel driving by with a receiver.
No, the equipment is only capable of collecting the reading from the water meter and transmitting it to the receiver.
According to the Federal Communications Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO), radio frequency signals produced by radio read meters or other such wireless networks have shown no occurrences of adverse long- or short-term health effects.
The WHO's conclusion is that: "Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects."
To find out more about the Neptune meters, please visit their website or call 800-844-8334 and ask for the Meter Division.