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We own to the middle of a county maintained road. At the end…

We own to the...

We own to the middle of a county maintained road. At the end of the road is an old resort that now is expected to be revived adding at least 10 fold the traffic with heavy trucks more than the road has ever sustained before. The road is very narrow with hazardous curves with little visibility. What are our rights?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

We are currently responding to the revised EIR for the massive development that is proposed. Historically, there was a resort at the end of the road that had probably 30 cars on a special day. Now, the developers and the county want to join some properties to put in a 60 2-3 bedroom timeshare community, 103 hotel rooms, 17 timeshare villas, along with vineyards, basketball courts, and on and on. 200 workers are expected. With mitigation measures involving workers to use shuttles to the nearest town 8 miles away, they say there will only be approximately 500 vehicles a day. They omit people trying to get into the resort as well as day visitors using the spa, wine tasting, and going to the 3 restaurants. The developers say they will widen areas one foot on each side where it can happen and add signage for the dangerous curves.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the timeshare located?

Monterey County, California

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

We are currently in the response period of the EIR. We have been advised to wait until the last minute to make the claim of owning half of the roadway with a right for reasonable usage but that this should not be revealed until the last minute because the supervisors are very pro development at any cost.

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Answered in 27 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Is there an existing easement that allows the owners of the resort property to use your road? Is there any other way to access the resort, other than using your road?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
No other easement and no other access to resort. The property we own was cut off from the regular 40plus acres for a home for the road to go through.

Okay, thank you.

Technically, you could put up a fence or a gate and block their access to even do construction until they pay you for the right to use the road. But I'm not sure if that's what you want to do.

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They will have to pay you for the right to use the road, and considering how much money they're looking to make on the resort, they may be willing to pay dearly. You can make them pay to widen and maintain the road, which it seems like they're already planning to do.

Consider how the additional resort traffic is going to affect your right to quiet use and enjoyment of your home. And you may want to talk to an appraiser about how the additional traffic will affect your property value. That's something to have in mind before negotiating with them, because you want to be sure to get a fair price.

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You can also insist that they put up guard rails or other protections and that they indemnify you from any harm that comes to users on the road.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
This is the second EIR, your insights are very good. If we do not respond with this information during the response period of the REIR, with our claim to owning half of the roadway with an expectation of reasonable use, could we lose that right? We have been told by our neighbor's attorney that they want to drop this on the supervisors at the last minute to defer their vote at that time. We worry that if we don't assert our roadway ownership and right of reasonable usage that we could lose that right if the REIR response time has lapsed.
The resort does not want to do any road improvements except signage and a 1 foot increase where possible. They claim this is a***** but on the last windy stretch cars pull off to let other vehicles or trucks go by. There is no shoulder for most parts and no passing lane. The REIR also says the speed on the roadway is 15-25 mph but their is no speed limit posted and it is hard to enforce given the narrowness and remote area of the roadway. The resort developers low ball the number of vehicles and trips that will be added to the roadway if this resort will be built.

If they want to use the resort, and your road is the only way to get to it, they'll have to be reasonable. You have no obligation whatsoever to accept a lowball offer.

You can try looking at what the cost per square foot of the land in that area is, as your starting point, plus how much square footage they'll need to use. The one drawback to that approach is that it might give you a lower number than what the road is realistically worth to them (and what the nuisance of them having it is realistically worth to you).

The EIR should only be addressing environmental impact. If you want to object to the impact of their resort on your neighborhood, that absolutely needs to be done before the response period, or they'll likely be given the go ahead to do the project. Getting approval from the city to do the construction isn't the same as getting permission to use your road. However, there is a danger that, if you wait too long, they'll sue for what's called an "easement by necessity." And if that happens, a judge might award you less for the use of the road than you could get by negotiating. So you can wait until close to the end, but letting the response period lapse could backfire.

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Also note that putting all your concerns with safety on the record might impact the city's decision, and it could put them in a position where they're legally required to expand the road, put in speed limit signs, and add speed bumps or other safety measures before even being approved to do the construction.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Wow, Your input is very helpful. I think waiting to the end of the response time for this is problematic. They have manipulated the traffic numbers so we need to correct that. Safety is a huge concern with the road being so narrow and the softness of any shoulder along with steep cliffs without guard rails and just the unbelievable increase in use.��

If your report is ready now, and you want to make sure the city has enough time to fully consider all of your objections, you can file at any time. You don't have to wait until the very end.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
Verified
Lucy, Esq. and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Can you schedule a time? It's too late now.
Phone call session started

I can. I'm going to be in appointments for a big chunk of the day, but I could call any time before 9:30 AM PST or after 3:30 pm.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Could you call at 6***** Time tomorrow?(###) ###-####

Tomorrow evening is going to be an issue due to a family commitment. Is there an earlier time we could talk tomorrow? Or even 5-5:30 pm PST tonight?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Actually, I was hoping for a phone call after or close to 6 pm tomorrow.

I'm sorry, but I'm currently on the east coast (although I trained in California). I can't make phone calls at or after 9 pm my time, especially considering that I'm up working at 6 am already. But I really can't do it on my husband's birthday. I'm happy to talk at an earlier time, or Customer Service can refund the phone call for you.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hi again,
Could you call me Thursday, anytime PST between 9 am and 3 pm? I'll keep my cell(###) ###-####with me? Thanks, Lois
You have been extremely helpful.

Yes, I can call you tomorrow at 9 am PST. I'm glad I could help.

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