We recently built a new building on a property we purchased in 2013 along a state hwy. While we pay the tax on the land to the center of the 4 lane, I was told that the DOT has the right-of-way from the center of the west bound lane extending 70 feet into our property. We only paved up to the "right-of-way" then later (as other property owners have done) graveled to the edge of the deceleration lane in which we built at the request of the DOT. In order to prevent potential accidents from people backing in to a parking space on the paved area into a car potentially parked in the gravel area we inserted 6"x6"x10' pressure treated boards in a location where it would not allow cars to advance any further, thus preventing an accident and is about 65 feet from the center line of the west bound lane so it's not a hazard to other motorists. The DOT supervisor sent us a letter demanding that we remove the gravel and the parking bumpers within 30 days. As I mentioned SEVERAL other property owners along the hwy have done likewise. Nothing in the Statute he quoted mentions gravel. Do I have to comply with his demand to remove the gravel and bumpers if the quoted statute has not been violated?
In order to accurately answer the question, a competent real estate attorney should go back into the chain of title to the property in question, find the Right-of-Way Agreement/Deed, or other document by which the State DOT acquired the right-of-way in question and read the conditions and terms which that document imposed. That document will set forth exactly what is allowed in the right-of-way area. However, in general, any obstacles or other material other than what was allowed in the original Right-of-Way grant are subject to removal at the demand of the State DOT, which can be enforced by court action if necessary. A landowner who wishes to place something in the right-of-way area is generally well-advised to seek the permission of the DOT first, prior to going to such effort and expense. The fact that others may have done the same thing does not excuse any violation on your part. (I am changing the Practice Area for this inquiry from "Insurance" to "Real Estate" because it is in no way related to insurance.)
DISCLAIMER - This posting is not intended to and does not create any attorney-client relationship, and is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice to any individual. It is posted for educational and informational purposes only. Any individual reading this should consult with a qualified attorney before taking any action regarding his or her own personal situation.
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