The Virginia Board of Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects (APELSCIDLA Board) has proposed a Guidance Document on Property Lines Along Public Roads Without Recorded Fee Simple Right-of-Way. APELSCIDLA is accepting comments until September 30.
To read the full proposed Guidance Document and or submit comments, click here.
I've encountered many deeds specifying that boundaries are along road centers and property owners don't want to give away their land for free, so fee simple transfer would be a complicated issue. That said, the Byrd Act in 1932 established a 30' prescriptive easement along a majority of those roads for public use and VDOT maintenance. Lately VDOT has been concerned not only about ditch maintenance, but sight easements for safety sake. We've had to tell clients that sight easements can overlap on neighbors, and if they can't get one from their neighbors then they can't have VDOT approval on the best available access point and sometimes not at all. Since this is also a complicated issue and concerns safe access, I suggest that it should be addressed under "VDOT Prescriptive Easements Along Public Roads Without Recorded Fee Simple Right-of-Way".