Maine Alliance for Road Associations
We have a waterfront camp. There is another one next to us separated by 25 ft wide section of land. This land is owned by another property owner behind the other waterfront camp but is a deeded right of way to the water front owners. The property owner has created issues with erosion and is not maintaining the road and wants to block us from doing anything. He also has been parking trailers on the right of way and put a picnic table. We want to be able to maintain this road and clear snow but he is adamant that this is his property and we have no rights. There are now lawyers involved but my question is... Do we need his participation as the property owner the right of way travels over to form a road association? Here is a map. Blue is the water. Pick is the property he owns which is a deeded right of way.
I am not an attorney. It looks to me as if you need a legal opinion about the right of the ROW owner to prevent you from maintaining your road (in dotted lines?). Does the ROW owner have his own road? Does he own property along and/or use your road? If the latter, I believe he would have to be included in a statutory association.
The ROW owner should be able to put up a picnic table if it does not interfere with your ability to use the ROW. Do Town Codes allow for the trailer on the ROW? It appears to me that you do not have rights to maintain the ROW except for the piece of your road that crosses the ROW unless your deeded use is impaired. If erosion of the ROW is affecting the body of water the DEP should be able to help you.
I do not believe you need this owner's permission to form a statutory association. Depending on the answers to my questions in paragraph 1, he may be one of the owners needed to vote a majority in favor of forming an association.
It is best to work out an agreement on your issues of concern with the owner of the ROW. A statutory road association of all owners along the road to share maintenance costs makes sense to me.
In order to form a STATUTORY Road association, there would have to be four or more owners of property that are benefited by the road. If I understand you correctly, there are only three. However, you could still form either a non-profit or an "informal" road association. Unfortunately, neither of those gives you the enforcement powers of a statutory road association, so you would likely have trouble getting the disputing land owner to contribute. You could try referring your request to Maine ROADWays (my other life) - check out my website, maineroadways.blogspot.com . Then send me a private email at email@example.com with the town and exact location of the road, and the names of the land owners, and I can research what it says in the deeds about the right of way. But I am not an attorney, and the previous answer is correct that it sounds like you will need to consult one at some point. If you have not done so already, I would strongly recommend that you sign up for the MARA Road association conference on October 3. There will be two of Maine's top road association attorneys speaking and answering questions, so it will be a great place to learn what your options might be. Click the Events tab above for more info.
Yes, 4 owners needed for statutory associations. Sorry! (I demand a recount!)
The Maine Alliance for Road Associations