|Road or path? Wouldn't you|
like to know.
By Andrew Delaney
Ancient roads can haunt you.
The Town of Granville put together an Ancient Roads Committee and a process for identifying said ye olde wagon-paths. In 2009, the Committee made some recommendations and added roads to the Town Highway Map after notice and several public hearings. (There’s an Ancient Roads Act that gave all towns until mid-2015 to get these Ancient Roads on town highway maps (see subsection (c) of this statute for more information)).
Well! One of those identified wagon paths in Granville went through Mr. Loprete’s property. Mr. Loprete decided that he’d block off the road with a storage container. The selectboard asked him to remove the storage container. Mr. Loprete was not interested.
So the Town sued for declaratory judgment, asking the court to declare that the road was a proper road dating back to 1850—and that by implication Mr. Loprete couldn’t use the road for his storage-container-placing activities. In order to be a proper road, under the applicable 19th-century law, there had to be (1) an official recorded survey; (2) a formal act by the selectboard; and (3) a certificate of opening.