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  1. #1
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    Default Land Tract Includes County Road

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

    land tract which includes county road

    If someone buys a land tract of a certain acreage which contains an established gravel county road running through it but the metes and bounds designate that a certain part of the acreage lies within the right-of-way of the road and subtracts that road acreage from the metes and bounds and then gives a new net acreage of the tract minus the road acreage, does that mean that the person owns the acreage under the road or that they own the acreage of the tract but do not own any of the acreage that the road is on?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    They don't own the road. Should the county every abandon the road it would revert to the land owner.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    Another question: If a person owns a land tract that did not encompass a county road but had an easement for the neighboring landowner to access their property, and the easement to the neighbor's property was designated a county road years later, does the original landowner still own the land under the road (although the right-of-way for people to use the road is public)?

    Also, would the landowner have had to give permission to the county for the easement to become a county road, or could permission be given by the neighbor who uses the easement?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    First, you need to get over this whole "owning the land under the road" thing. It means nothing.

    When a road is taken by the state, county or city to be a public road it would either be donated by the owner or sold by the owner to the government entity. If the owner doesn't want to sell the government could acquire it by eminent domain. If they do this they will pay fair market value.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    Thanks for clarifying this. My confusion on this subject was that the owner of the land where the county supposedly designated the road as a county road (owner #1) never gave permission to the county, nor did they receive fair market value for the land, although there was an easement for owner #2 to access his land. However, it gets more complicated. The road originally went across a different tract of neighboring land when the road was designated as a county road and the maps are still showing it to be where it was originally located. However, when that neighboring land was sold, the new owner #3 closed off access to the original road across his land and forced the other landowners (#1 and #2) to move access onto landowner #1's property.

    That brings up the question - was it even lawful for owner #3 to close off access to a county road across his property and tell people they had to use another route to get to their land? And, since the maps are showing the county road to still cross owner #3's property, does that mean that the county road is still officially located there and not on the easement on owner #1's land?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    Quote Quoting dsrev32
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    Thanks for clarifying this. My confusion on this subject was that the owner of the land where the county supposedly designated the road as a county road (owner #1) never gave permission to the county, nor did they receive fair market value for the land, although there was an easement for owner #2 to access his land. However, it gets more complicated. The road originally went across a different tract of neighboring land when the road was designated as a county road and the maps are still showing it to be where it was originally located. However, when that neighboring land was sold, the new owner #3 closed off access to the original road across his land and forced the other landowners (#1 and #2) to move access onto landowner #1's property.

    That brings up the question - was it even lawful for owner #3 to close off access to a county road across his property and tell people they had to use another route to get to their land? And, since the maps are showing the county road to still cross owner #3's property, does that mean that the county road is still officially located there and not on the easement on owner #1's land?
    I probably was not legal for owner #3 to close off access to a county road across his property. (unless of course the county abandoned the road, and it doesn't sound like they did). However, if owners 1 and 2 and the general public did nothing to stop him from doing that, then depending on how long ago it was, it may be a moot point now.

    You really need to run all of this by a real estate attorney, who can research the history of the road and the deeds.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    Quote Quoting dsrev32
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    Thanks for clarifying this. My confusion on this subject was that the owner of the land where the county supposedly designated the road as a county road (owner #1) never gave permission to the county, nor did they receive fair market value for the land, although there was an easement for owner #2 to access his land. However, it gets more complicated. The road originally went across a different tract of neighboring land when the road was designated as a county road and the maps are still showing it to be where it was originally located. However, when that neighboring land was sold, the new owner #3 closed off access to the original road across his land and forced the other landowners (#1 and #2) to move access onto landowner #1's property.

    That brings up the question - was it even lawful for owner #3 to close off access to a county road across his property and tell people they had to use another route to get to their land? And, since the maps are showing the county road to still cross owner #3's property, does that mean that the county road is still officially located there and not on the easement on owner #1's land?
    You are correct it is complicated. So who are you in all of this?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    Landowner #1

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    You previouly wrote, "... the county supposedly designated the road as a county road...", this means you don't know it is a county road. That is the first thing you need to confirm.

    But when it all comes down to it. You are going to need a lawyer.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Land Tract Includes County Road

    Quote Quoting dsrev32
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    My question involves real estate located in the State of: TX

    land tract which includes county road

    If someone buys a land tract of a certain acreage which contains an established gravel county road running through it but the metes and bounds designate that a certain part of the acreage lies within the right-of-way of the road and subtracts that road acreage from the metes and bounds and then gives a new net acreage of the tract minus the road acreage, does that mean that the person owns the acreage under the road or that they own the acreage of the tract but do not own any of the acreage that the road is on?
    It depends on how the county road was designated a county road. If the road was once an easement and the county took over the road by dedication (or otherwise), then you would still own the land under the road. It doesn't change the acreage you own.

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    They don't own the road. Should the county every abandon the road it would revert to the land owner.
    That is true. But the land likely was never owned by the county. If there was a dedication to the county and the county accepted the dedication, the road becomes a county road meaning that the county would maintain the road. But the ownership does not transfer to the county. It is still owned by the servient estate. And when and if the county would vacate the road, the land reverts back to the dominant estate. But I don't think that is what we are talking about in this post.

    Quote Quoting dsrev32
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    Another question: If a person owns a land tract that did not encompass a county road but had an easement for the neighboring landowner to access their property, and the easement to the neighbor's property was designated a county road years later, does the original landowner still own the land under the road (although the right-of-way for people to use the road is public)?

    Also, would the landowner have had to give permission to the county for the easement to become a county road, or could permission be given by the neighbor who uses the easement?
    An easement for one property owner to use land of another for ingress/egress cannot be extended to any other property to use. The servient estate is the land that owns the property. The dominant estate has the right to use the servient's estate property.

    The servient estate would still own the property. How a dominant estate's easement could become a county road without the servient estate's agreement would be a mystery . It would be the servient estate that would have to make the offer for dedication to the county.


    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    First, you need to get over this whole "owning the land under the road" thing. It means nothing.

    When a road is taken by the state, county or city to be a public road it would either be donated by the owner or sold by the owner to the government entity. If the owner doesn't want to sell the government could acquire it by eminent domain. If they do this they will pay fair market value.
    You are not correct to say, "First, you need to get over this whole "owning the land under the road" thing. It means nothing". In most cases, when a road is private, the properties that abut the road own land to the centerline of the road. It is an easement from the centerline of the road back to a designated distance that is used for the road.

    The government doesn't take roads. Roads are offered for dedication by the person or entity that is the servient estate. If the governmental entity, (state, county, municipality, city) accepts the dedication, there is no land transfers, there are no new deed recorded. The governmental entity takes control of what was an easement and maintains the road. Roads are not sold to the public. What is subject to eminent domain is the reconstruction of government roads on dedicated and accepted roads. If the road needs to be widened, eminent domain may play a part. that is not what we are speaking of here.

    You can google the TX road dedication statutes to learn of the process.



    Quote Quoting dsrev32
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    Thanks for clarifying this. My confusion on this subject was that the owner of the land where the county supposedly designated the road as a county road (owner #1) never gave permission to the county, nor did they receive fair market value for the land, although there was an easement for owner #2 to access his land. However, it gets more complicated. The road originally went across a different tract of neighboring land when the road was designated as a county road and the maps are still showing it to be where it was originally located. However, when that neighboring land was sold, the new owner #3 closed off access to the original road across his land and forced the other landowners (#1 and #2) to move access onto landowner #1's property.

    That brings up the question - was it even lawful for owner #3 to close off access to a county road across his property and tell people they had to use another route to get to their land? And, since the maps are showing the county road to still cross owner #3's property, does that mean that the county road is still officially located there and not on the easement on owner #1's land?
    It was probably not lawful to close off access to the easement (or the county road if it is a county road). But that depends on all the facts as to how the easement became a county road. That is the question that needs answering. Someone needs to do a compressive search of the recorded documents at the county from the time the land was subdivide, what easements were granted, and how the county came to designate the road a county road.

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I probably was not legal for owner #3 to close off access to a county road across his property. (unless of course the county abandoned the road, and it doesn't sound like they did). However, if owners 1 and 2 and the general public did nothing to stop him from doing that, then depending on how long ago it was, it may be a moot point now.

    You really need to run all of this by a real estate attorney, who can research the history of the road and the deeds.
    I agree.

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