I have a driveway on my land that currently has two easements on it, assuming I am using that term correctly as I own the driveway and two neighbors have access to different lengths of the driveway to access their land. Keeping things simple for now I believe we can ignore one of the neighbors as they are not involved in the current issue and were mentioned solely to indicate the additional use of the driveway. The issue is that the neighbor closest (and adjacent) to the highway that the driveway runs to has decided to split his property into two pieces where the front section (section adjacent to the highway) that has the house on it will be sold soon and after speaking with him I get the feeling that the back section, which consists of around 6 acres, will have at least one new house build on it. Now before this gets more complicated here is my first question, what happens to an easement when a property is split? I figure that one of two cases could occur:
1) Both properties share the easement, though this does not seem correct if you imagine a situation where someone has say a mile long drive way with an easement for the property on the right and that person decides to split it up 12 times over then that road which was shared with just one additional household is now shared with 13 additional households.
2) One of the two properties gets to keep the existing easement though I would not know how or who would get to decide which it one.
Now let me describe a little more detail. Initially I believed this would cause the back property that was split off (the section no longer adjacent to the highway) to be land locked so even if the two properties did not both get the easement then the back would need right of way though he would be land locking himself and I don't know my rights in such a situation. After speaking with the property owner it turns out that he was keeping a strip of land parallel to my driveway that leads from the highway to the split property in the back and thus runs beside the front property creating a piece of land that would have a pan handle strip of land where the strip runs beside the front property. Since the strip from the back property runs beside the front property to use the existing access onto my driveway the new owners(when the land is sold) of the front will need to get an easement from the owner of the split land to cross little strip to access my driveway. That a side here is my next question since both properties now have some land that is adjacent to the highway, though no driveway has been build on the strip yet, could the back land still be considered land locked? This is of course not important if all split pieces of a property share the easement though see (1) above.
The reason for my concern is that with even the three houses the small one lane driveway can stop traffic on a state highway add to this the fact that the other neighbor who has an easement has a child that is almost 16 and the fact that the people that buy the property in the front could have children that drive and you start to get the picture. Now I know I cannot stop any of current traffic however if I can stop more houses that go on the land in the back section from using my driveway then great. Also note that I cannot widen the driveway as to the right is a neighbor on the other side's driveway and on the left are utilities, which means even if the strip gets a driveway on it then the utilities would be between the two driveways though I do not see this as an issue.
The best course of action in my mind would be for the strip to the back property to get a driveway on it that the front and back sections of the split property could share and myself and the other neighbor with an easement would share my driveway though after speaking with the owner of the land it sound like if he could get away with not putting in a new driveway he would as he has already moved into town and away from the traffic burden. I'm sure that the state does not just want people throwing driveways onto highways so could any addition driveways even be built?
Finally I found a document in my county's zoning order that reads:
108.3 No building shall hereafter be erected, reconstructed, relocated or structurally altered on any lot
or parcel unless such lot or parcel faces a dedicated street or public road. Or the ownership right
to such lot or parcel provides for an easement twenty-five (25) feet wide to a public road or
dedicated street. Where a building is in existence no required dedicated street or right-of-way
shall be vacated so as to eliminate the required access to a dedicated street or right-of-way.
(Amended June 1986)
So pending that my driveway, or rather the driveway and the land on either side described in the easement though over utilities, is not over 25 feet wide then no new houses could be built, correct?
Thanks for your time!