Can the public use a county road easement that runs through my private property to access a nature preserve?

Asked about 1 year ago - Harbor Springs, MI

I live on a piece of private property surrounded by a nature preserve and at the end of a dead end street that turns into my driveway. Recently, the County Road Commission did massive improvements to this turnaround at the end of the dead end and made a large area that the public is now using for a parking lot for the nature preserve. Furthermore, not only is the public using this area right in front of my house for parking (my property within the turnaround easement) but the Conservancy is directing traffic away from the main access/parking area on county land and sending them to this rural residential area and using signage and online maps and phone apps. to promote using my private land as an access to the nature center. Is it legal to promote public access through private property?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. James Robert Sterken

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It would depend on the nature and scope of the easement. Also, it would be helpful to know whether this type of access was occurring prior to the signage and improvements. It would appear based on the facts presented that the answer is not clear and would require legal action on your part to stop the activity if it is interfering with the quiet enjoyment of your property. The likelihood of success depends largely on the terms of the easement itself, and what has happened up to this point.

  2. William Joseph Bieke Jr.

    Contributor Level 11
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Sterken, and I'll add, litigation and threats of litigation in cases like this needs to be addressed early and sternly. Take pics now, you'll likely need them later. You don't want them to keep improving the land and build evidence of an expanded easement while you're trying to figure out what to do.

    You should contact a good real estate attorney in your local area immediately

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