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Property owners rights and road maintenance costs, who pays now?

Lopez Island, WA |

6 property owners have a 2700 foot gravel easement to enter or homes. One side of the gravel road borders a county park. The other side of the gravel road bordered 100 acres of school property that the DNR administered and would clear cut every 8 or 10 years to raise money for the schools. This last year this 100 acres was leased to the county to be included in the county park property. The property owners were instructed by the DNR over 20 years ago that road maintenance was on us. We accepted and all 6 owners share the cost of road maintenance every year. Now that the county park has taken over they have indicated they will open the 100 acres up to the public for camping and have posted signs on the gravel road with camping rules. Are we owners still responsible for road maintenance?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. It depends on the provisions of the document establishing the easement. That document may also establish the County's responsibilites. The other possibility is that your access is through a road that was platted between the county park and school property. A look at the plat map would show this. Once a knowledgeable lay person or a real estate attorney reviews the relevant documents, he/she can advise you about responsibility.

    The advice given is general for information purposes only and should not be relied on. You should consult with an attorney of your choice to fully advise you about your legal rights and obligations.


  2. I agree with the previous answer, and would add in San Juan County costs based on prorated use is an established precedent. It may be that the change in use will be a surcharge on the easement and should be addressed sooner rather than later.
    Good Luck

    Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

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