You are here

ownership of dead end private way.

i currently own both sides of a dead end street, laid out in 1895 do i own to the middle on both sides? can i join the two parcels together? can i develop the street , its in middlesex county.

Share this with your friends

Submitted Tue, 03/15/2016 - 08:59

Thanks for your question - it's an interesting one! Unfortunately, it turns to a great extent on who else lives on your private way, and where that way is. You will, almost certainly, need zoning type relief, as local density restrictions, and other related issues are subject to city review.

There are arguments the city or town in which you live may make to prevent the development of your cul de sac - even as you have arguments as to why such development should be allowed, according to an idea called the "derelict fee statute." I think, given the details, to discuss this meaningfully, you had better speak to an attorney in person. But in answer to your question - it's possible.

Submitted Tue, 03/15/2016 - 09:27

Dear Landowner,

You probably own to the centerline of the way pursuant to G. L. c. 183, s. 58, but not necessarily. In order to give you a definitive answer, I would need to review the title history and any plans that lay out the dead end street. Also, even if you own the fee in the dead end street, your ownership is likely subject to the interests of other landowners who abut the street to use it. Regarding development of the street, a person who holds a right of way typically has the right to make improvements to it.

Everything I am saying here is general. There may be reasons why your specific situation would be different, or possibly would fit.

You are welcome to read my article, Establishing Your Right of Way in Massachusetts.

Feel free to call to discuss further.

Yours truly,

Robert Nislick
Attorney At Law
P.O. Box 5207
Framingham, MA 01701
(508) 405-1238

Talk to a Real Estate Lawyer Today
Most offer FREE Consultations
Connect with The Forum
facebook google twitter linkedin