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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default New York State Highway Right Of Way

    Hi, I am trying to find information in regard to the NYS DOT and their right of way.

    I own 5 acres of land that is bordered on one side by a state highway. NYS has told me that they are removing approximately 4000 m3 of my property to increase visibility and help with parts of a bank that is caving in and blocking drainage.

    About 3 months ago I was contacted by a private contractor hired by NYS and he went over the project and said that they were able to move the earth to another part of my property. He had me sign a waiver to enter my property for the placement of fill.

    About three weeks ago he called and said that he was unable to place fill on my land due to liability issues and that he was trying to find a place to dump it. For some reason I think he was "pulling the wool over my eyes" to get me to sign the waiver in our first meeting. He also stated that he was going to contact the owner of the property across the street from me to see if he could place the fill there (why aren't there liability issues there?)

    Anyway, I guess my main question is more related to who owns the earth. I understand NYS has the right to maintain anything within in their right of way, but don't I still have ownership of the actual dirt and trees they are removing? My friend thinks the contractor found a person that is willing to pay money for the fill and thus his backing out of our previous plan. Is it logical that he would legally be able to profit from selling my land?

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,376

    Default Re: New York State Highway Right Of Way

    We have no idea what kind of "waiver" you signed and so do not even have a starting point for a discussion.

    No, you do not have any control of the dirt, trees, etc. which is on their right of way unless they legally abandon the road.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: New York State Highway Right Of Way

    Thank you. The "waiver" is not in question. Perhaps it was a bad term to use. It was a document permitting him to enter onto my land for placing fill. Most of the work will be done from the road but to access where I wanted the fill placed he needed to use my land.

    Would I be permitted to take trees now that may be removed for this project...or better question, if I took trees that he had promised to sell to someone, could I be sued for their value? I also have a few stumps in my yard from the creation of a driveway. If I placed those stumps in the area to be removed would I be violating the state's right of way?

    What are the state's obligations if the project were to go beyond their right of way (possiblity)? I assume that I would have the right to that earth?

    Thanks again, I have tried to contact some local lawyers and the do not seem interested in speaking with me and are referring me to a lawyer a good distance away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,376

    Default Re: New York State Highway Right Of Way

    I think at this point you should contact the regional real estate officer for the New York DOT. You can get the name and phone number from the NYDOT website.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: New York State Highway Right Of Way

    Does the highway dept own the land involved here or do they have an easement? I would think they own it in fee. In which case the dirt belongs to them. Regarding the stumps, you could ask the contractor when they show up to get the others. In most cases they are glad to help unless its another truck load. Or offer a 100.00 to get them gone. If they own the land forget money for the dirt. If they own the land the tress are their's too. In the slim case they have an easement, you need to read the easement agreement and see what it says, then your questions about the trees may be answered.

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