In Arizona, Never Been Dedicated Easement Means Is Owners Responsibility

Recently construction of a home on five acres was completed near Prescott, Arizona. The owners have a right of way easement to use a dirt road that goes from their five acres to the main highway. The dirt road is in poor condition, but when they contacted Yavapai County to get the dirt road repaired, they were informed that they could do nothing because the dirt road had never been dedicated. What does Yavapai County mean when they say that the dirt road had never been dedicated? Additionally, their neighbor’s driveway cuts across a corner of their front yard. Should they tell their neighbor that his driveway cuts across our front yard?

The information that Yavapai County related was saying that, because the dirt road was not dedicated by the former owner, and the dedication accepted by Yavapai County, the maintenance of the dirt road is not the responsibility of the county. Therefore, the maintenance of the dirt road is the property owners’ responsibility as the current owner of the easement.

Additionally, if a property owner has a situation where a neighbor’s driveway cuts across ones property the neighbor should be told immediately, and give the neighbor permission, preferably in writing, to use the driveway. Alternatively, but not very neighborly, the property owner has the right to block part of the driveway off to prevent the neighbor from driving across the corner of the yard. If the neighbor continues to use the driveway for more than ten years, the neighbor may acquire a prescriptive easement to use the driveway across the corner of the yard.

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