Road Abandonment Program (Returning Roads to Private Persons)
The Bureau’s Road Abandonment Program returns an improved public road to private ownership for use as a private road. In order to transfer ownership, the evidence must clearly indicate that the improved public road is no longer needed for present public use and that there is no anticipated future public use requiring its retention.
To apply to the County for road abandonment, a Road Abandonment Petition
must be completed for each road requested. All owners of property abutting the petitioned road must agree to the abandonment and sign the petition.
Once the petition is filed with the County, the County will review and validate the petition. County ownership will be confirmed and the impact, if any, on property owners in the vicinity of the request will be examined. Once the petition is reviewed and validated, a study will be conducted to determine the feasibility of the request. Other County agencies and certain public utilities are given an opportunity to comment on the request. Petitioners will be advised of any concerns and given the opportunity to respond.
The petitioners or any opponents to the request may be required to provide additional documentation, including but not limited to, a title examination or survey.
If the results of the feasibility study are favorable, the petitioners will be required to give public notice of their request. Signs must be posted on either end of the road being petitioned and an advertisement must run in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the County. Costs associated with publication and posting are the responsibility of the petitioners.
Upon the satisfactory resolution of any public opposition, if any, a recommendation will be made to the Director of Public Works. If the Director of Public Works approves the petition, he will forward his decision to the County Executive recommending execution of the proper deeds transferring ownership. Upon transfer of ownership, the County can no longer maintain and repair the abandoned portion of roadway.
The abandonment process usually takes from 9 months to a year to complete.
If you have any questions regarding the road abandonment petition or process, please contact the Bureau of Highways Administration Offices at (410) 222-7321.