Saturday, January 25, 2014

Reclassification Revisited: Road Worrier Part Deux

Demarest v. Town of Underhill, 2013 VT 72


This case takes us back a decade to a town’s decision to convert a class-four road into a trail.  There’s surely a poorly conceived it-could’ve-been-a-tree-lined-trail-if-not-for-this-case joke to be had here.  But I digress. 

A dozen years ago, the town’s selectboard decided that a portion of a town highway should be reclassified as a legal trail.  The town complied with the statutory procedures for doing so, “except that it failed to formally record the reclassification order in the land records.”

A year later, the selectboard adopted an ordinance regarding the newly created (alleged) trail.  The ordinance contemplated that the trail would be used for recreation.  The town stopped maintaining the Trail-Formerly-Known-as-Road (or as I like to refer to it, the unpronounceable symbol, Á).  (By the way, the albums Á put out after the reclassification were not as well-received as the Road’s albums before the reclassification).