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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    2

    Default Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Oklahoma

    I bought a house at the county tax sale in June of 2018. I have since renovated the garage apartment, and started to rent it. The property has a house in the front along the street, and a two car garage, with a small apartment above it. A vacated alley runs between me and my neighbor, and is the only way to access the two car garage.

    I just found out that in 2015 the neighbor who owns the half of the alley I donít paid to have it vacated. He has told my tenant (a 73 year old woman) that she cannot drive on the alley to park in the garage. While I do own half of the vacated alley, it is not posable to drive a car on my half due to telephone poles. I have tried to ask if he would either sell me his half of the alley or sell me an easement and he has refused.

    Is there anything that I can do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,449

    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    Quote Quoting eeeproject
    View Post
    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Oklahoma

    I bought a house at the county tax sale in June of 2018. I have since renovated the garage apartment, and started to rent it. The property has a house in the front along the street, and a two car garage, with a small apartment above it. A vacated alley runs between me and my neighbor, and is the only way to access the two car garage.

    I just found out that in 2015 the neighbor who owns the half of the alley I don’t paid to have it vacated. He has told my tenant (a 73 year old woman) that she cannot drive on the alley to park in the garage. While I do own half of the vacated alley, it is not posable to drive a car on my half due to telephone poles. I have tried to ask if he would either sell me his half of the alley or sell me an easement and he has refused.

    Is there anything that I can do?
    I'm not sure I understand what the bolded section means.

    Why was the alley vacated and by whom? Easements are rarely vacated unless they are owned by a governmental entity. Was the alley owned by the city?

    Easements can be extinguished by agreement of the servient and dominant estates or by order of the court. But since both you and your neighbor are both dominant estates to once use the alley, you will have to explain how the easement was vacated. Did the alley serve any other properties other than yours and the neighbor's.

    Once you know the facts, consult with a local attorney about how to get your rights restored to use the easement. There are several doctrines that may apply such as an equitable easement, an easement by necessity or prior use. All the facts matter and we don't have them.

    If by chance this is a result of the county taking the property for taxes, the easement may have been inappropriately vacated at your neighbor's request.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    2

    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    Sorry for not being more specific about the vacating of the alley.

    In 2015 the alley that was previously owned by the City was vacated at the request of my neighbor. The alley served a few properties other than my own and the neighbor who paid to have it vacated. Unfortunately mine is the only one with a garage constructed to be accessed from the alley.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Pugetopolis
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    66

    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    You'll probably have to hire a lawyer to challenge the vacation. The city should have surveyed the alley to see if their were any properties using the alley as anything other than a walkway.

    How wide is the alley? You and the other owners all should have recieved 1/2 of the portions adjoining your parcels.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,449

    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    Quote Quoting eeeproject
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    Sorry for not being more specific about the vacating of the alley.

    In 2015 the alley that was previously owned by the City was vacated at the request of my neighbor. The alley served a few properties other than my own and the neighbor who paid to have it vacated. Unfortunately mine is the only one with a garage constructed to be accessed from the alley.
    Your neighbor paid who to have the alley vacated? Did he hire an attorney or did he file an application with the city to have the alley vacated? Was your predecessor a participant in the proceedings? Was he served that the alley would be vacated? What was his/her response to the proceedings? What were the other property owners responses to the application for vacation? You need to know these things.

    Someone just not just pay to have an easement vacated by the government. There has to be a reason in the public interest. There has to be an ordinance that vacates the easement. There has to be a hearing on the ordinance. Did you do any research into how this vacation happened?

    You have some research to do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,246

    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    There's rarely a "public" interest involved. It's just competing private interests. I've never seen a vacation procedure that doesn't involved notifying (and receiving input from) the affected parties. My parents and their neighbor (who shared an alley and they are the only abutting properties to it), vacated their alley in a joint petition.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    Quote Quoting flyingron;1123504[B
    ]There's rarely a "public" interest involved[/B]. It's just competing private interests. I've never seen a vacation procedure that doesn't involved notifying (and receiving input from) the affected parties. My parents and their neighbor (who shared an alley and they are the only abutting properties to it), vacated their alley in a joint petition.
    Not so ron. The jurisdiction can't just vacate an easement because one of the servient estates requests it. It's governed by statute and then by ordinance.

    http://www.oklegislature.gov/cf_pdf/...B323%20INT.pdf

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    You're putting words in my mouth. While the statute says that you can't impact other public use, it doesn't sasy that there has to be a "public interest" in the vacation. In fact, there usually is only a private interest.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2013
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    6,449

    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    Quote Quoting eeeproject
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    Sorry for not being more specific about the vacating of the alley.

    In 2015 the alley that was previously owned by the City was vacated at the request of my neighbor. The alley served a few properties other than my own and the neighbor who paid to have it vacated. Unfortunately mine is the only one with a garage constructed to be accessed from the alley.
    The Oklahoma ordinance last codified starting at (https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2014/title-11/)

    You should read through 11-42-101 to 11-42-11-42-115.

    You need to consult with a local attorney. There is a good chance (depending on the actual facts) if the process was followed and if you can regain the use of the easement.

    The statute says that the vacation cannot deprive an abutting property reasonable ingress and egress to their property. Since you can no longer access your garage, that deprives you of your access.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,283

    Default Re: Does the Alley Being Vacated Prevent Me from Accessing My Garage

    Let's keep in mind that only the neighbor as said that the renter can't access the garage. No actual action to stop access has been mentioned.

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