Public Roads vs. Private Roads
Determining how a property gains access to dedicated public roadways is a major concern for purchasers, lenders and title companies when contemplating potential purchases or financing of real estate. When an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey is prepared, per Section 5.B of the Minimum Standards, the surveyor has several responsibilities in reporting sufficient information so the matter of access can be easily understood. A primary point of interest that should be indicated clearly on the survey is whether the property in question has direct access to a dedicated “Public” street or is using a “Private” roadway to gain access to public roads. To clearly identify the type of access, the surveyor will typically label the street by name and then state “Public” or “Private” thereafter.
When the roadway is defined as “Public”, it is an indication that the road is being maintained by a governing authority which could be the city, county, state, etc. If the survey shows that the roadway is “Private”, it means that the roadway has not been dedicated or accepted as something to be maintained by the public authority.
In most cases if a roadway is identified as “Private” the subject parcel may have a right to use the roadway through beneficial easement rights, reciprocal easement rights, or a percentage of ownership of the private roadway that may be shared by all those using it for access. A good example of the latter is condominiums with ownership of common areas affording access by all owners. Additionally, if such rights exist, the subject property may have an obligation to maintain the “Private” road.
It is not the responsibility of the surveyor to determine whether such rights to use “Private” roadways exist but rather to show that access to the property is attained by use of the same. If the property does have the rights for use of a “Private” roadway, the surveyor may be made aware by a review of the title commitment if the rights are so stated or by field observation then noted by the surveyor.
If the use of the “Private” road(s) is granted through a beneficial easement right it may be important to include Optional Table A Item 19 requiring the surveyor to survey the easement right to understand what is transpiring within. Without Optional Table A Item 19, the surveyor’s responsibility is only to report and show the limits or boundary of the easement. When only the limits of the easement are shown, it is hard to determine whether there is truly an improved roadway within the right giving access to a “Public” road or whether access is impeded by an improvement within the easement such as a building or a fence. Optional Table A Item 19 may be costly if the appurtenant right was granted over a large parcel of land such as a shopping center or another phase of a multi-family community. Outparcels to shopping centers would most likely have appurtenant rights over the entirety of a shopping center to use the private roadways throughout the development.
A definition of responsibility given to the surveyor to provide notations or other maps, etc. with regard to access over “Private” road areas can be designed and written under Optional Table A Item 21 of the Minimum Standards to perhaps save money and time. Bock & Clark Project Managers are very experienced with situations such as these and can provide suggestions to help.
Bock & Clark – Becoming NV5
In January of 2019 Bock & Clark will officially transition its brand to NV5.
Bock & Clark was purchased by NV5 Global, a publicly traded provider of technical and engineering services, in April of 2017. Since that time the two entities have collaborated on many projects forming a solid team to serve our clients even better into the future.
The rebranding brings a new look and logo but the team at Bock & Clark remains the same. Our commitment to quality commercial real estate due diligence is unchanged and we will continue to be the industry’s number one choice for ALTA Surveys, Zoning Reports, Phase I and Phase II Reports and Property Condition Assessments. Our team’s 45-year history provides us with experience and expertise that is unmatched.
Whether contacting us for Survey, Zoning, Environmental or Property Assessment services, continue to call 1-800-787-8397 or any local number you have been using. All of our current employees will remain in their positions at their same locations. Employee emails will be transitioning to the nv5.com domain name in January and bockandclark.com emails will be forwarded to the recipient automatically at that time.
We foresee this transition as being seamless for our clients but please contact us with any questions. Thank you for your continued support of Bock & Clark, now branded as NV5.
News and Upcoming Events
- January 2019, Bock & Clark will transition its company brand to NV5.
- The offices of Bock & Clark, NV5, will be closed on the following dates in observance of the holidays: December 24 and 25, January 1.
- Congratulations to Director of Marketing, Laura Hengle, for being named Vice Chair of the National CREW Network Foundation for 2019
- Bock & Clark President, Jeff Echko, will be attending the ICSC Dealmaking at the Javits Center in New York City December 4-6.
- Peggy Henderson will be attending the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council event in Miami Beach January 14-16.