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When 5 properties own right of way on a road, can 3 decided to grade the road without a 5-way agreement?

Bayside, CA |

We live on a gravel road with a common right of way owned by 5 properties. Actually, there are 7, but the 2 at the top of the lane do not want to be bothered with maintenance. Three property owners want to put crushed asphalt on the road, grade it and run culverts down both sides. Two owners just want to add gravel to maintain the road. The 3 owners have contracted with a road paver and want all 5 to contribute to the upgrade. Can they legally contract? Must all 5 contribute? Can the 2 owners stop the other 3 from proceeding?

There is no road committee. All 7 property owners are given ownership in the right of way. Two have rescinded (verbally and historically) any say so or contribution to the road maintenance. There are no zoning regs in effect; we can do whatever is agreed upon to the road. Work on the road is scheduled for next week (monday, 5/14/12). 3 of the remaining 5 gave 7-9 written notice of the work to the dissenting 2.

Attorney Answers 1


The answer would depend on what the original purchase deeds and any zoning regs say regarding each of the five properties, sounds like there are actually seven. There are probably other facts you haven't mentioned. You ought to speak with a real estate lawyer with your questions for a comprehensive answer. This would require a review of documents and an additional description. This isn't really something that an Avvo post can answer.

Ms. Johns is a lawyer although she isn't your lawyer unless you have consulted with her and signed a letter or fee agreement confirming her representation of you. This post does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship results.

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Each property (all 7) have a shared interest in the right of way. We live in a rural, agricultural, some commercial (neighborhood store, truck stop) neighborhood. I have pretty much provided all info; there is no appointed road committee. Historically, changes to the road have been done with all of the owners agreement. We are now in disagreement. I need to know if my neighbors' actions are illegal. My question is urgent since a paver has been contracted to begin road repairs next week (Monday, 5/14/12).

Hillary Johns

Hillary Johns


It may be urgent although it's Friday afternoon. I would really speak with a lawyer about it or ask if they can reschedule. This isn't a question that I can answer for you on Avvo.

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