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From TH

Road easement and plotting

We have a resident in Sundre Township that wants the township to abandon and easement between two parcels of his land. The road easement was established when the housing development was plotted.
The way development was plotted, the road easement created a loop thought the development so there were two ways in and out. By eliminating the easement there would only be a single entrance and exit.
I have attached the request PDF. The 5 lots around the Southwest corner on the outside are owned by the same person.
Do we have the right to deny this request?


Hello TH,

Thanks for the inquiry at the NDTOA discussion forum:

TH, We don't cover street and alley issues in our handbook because townships do not have platting authority in ND. Only cities and counties can lay out plats.
So, I got this information about abandoning streets and alleys from the League of Cities. It gives the procedure for a city to abandon public streets and alleys.

Thanks to: Stephanie Dassinger Engebretson, ND League of Cities l Deputy Director/Staff Attorney

Title:  Vacating a street or alley

Vacating a Street or Alley

  1. Petition. Person seeking to vacate a street or an alley must file a petition with the city governing body that is signed by all of the owners of the property adjoining the portion of the street or the alley that the petition seeks to vacate. The petition also needs to set forth the facts and reasons for such vacation and be accompanied by a plat of the street or alley proposed to be vacated. The petition needs to be verified by the oath of at least one petitioner. NDCC 40-39-05
  2. Vacating Street or Alley Where Utilities are Located. No street or alley may be vacated when any sewers, water mains, gas or other pipes, or telephone electric, or cable television lines exist unless:
    1. The sewers, mains, pipes, or lines have been abandoned and are not in use;
    2. The owner of utility consents to the vacation; or
    3. Perpetual easements for the maintenance of the sewers, water mains, gas, or other pipes, or telephone, electric, or cable television lines has been given.
    Any vacation of areas within which are located electric facilities, whether underground or above ground, is subject to the continued right of location of such electric facilities in the vacated area. NDCC 40-39-04
  3. Governing Body Initial Review of Petition. If the governing body finds that the petition is in proper form and contains the required signatures, and that it is expedient to consider the petition, the governing body of the city shall order the petition to be filed with the city auditor. NDCC 40-39-06
  4. Expenses of Vacation Process. All expenses incurred in vacating any street or alley shall be paid by the petitioners. The amount shall be deposited with the city auditor before any expenses are incurred. The amount to be deposited is determined by the governing body. Any part of the deposit not used for expenses will be returned to the petitioner. NDCC 40-39-09
  5. Filing with City Auditor and Publication. The city auditor will give notice by publication at least once each week for four weeks. The notice needs to state that the petition has been filed and the object of the petition and the date the petition will be considered by the governing body. The hearing date cannot be less than thirty days after the first publication of the notice. NDCC 40-39-06
  6. Hearing on Petition. The governing body shall investigate the matter set forth in the petition and will take testimony and evidence of interested parties at the date set in the public notice. NDCC 40-39-07
  7. Governing Body Decision. After hearing the evidence, the governing body, by a resolution passed by a two-thirds vote of all its members, may declare the street or alley described in the petition vacated upon such terms and conditions as it shall deem just and reasonable. NDCC 40-39-07
  8. Publication of Resolution. Before the resolution is effective, it must be published once in the official newspaper. NDCC 40-39-07 and 40-11-06
  9. Filing and Recording Resolution with County Recorder. A transcript of the resolution, certified by the city auditor, shall be filed and recorded in the county recorder’s office. The resolution has the effect of conveying to the abutting property owners all of the right, title, and interest of the municipality to the property vacated. NDCC 40-39-08

Thanks to:
Stephanie Dassinger Engebretson,
ND League of Cities l Deputy Director/Staff Attorney


Posted on 05/16/2023 by Forum@ndtoa.com

From NS

Boundary between two townships

We have a section line that is the boundary between two townships. Part of the road is certified and the responsibility and maintenance is shared between the two townships. We now have one person from the one township wanting to improve the rest of the road. My township does not want the road improved. The person wanting the improvement is not an adjacent land owner. Does the person wanting the improvement have the right to improve the road at his own expense if he has permission from the one township but not the other?
Also, this person is demanding that all gates be removed from the section line and the lands be fenced on either side of the road where he wants to improve the road. The existing gates can be opened and closed, and the section line on that part of the road has been grazed by cattle owned by a landowner in our township for the past 30 years. The person wanting the road improved says it is not legal to close the section line with gates. Can this person force our township’s resident to put up fences and remove the gates?
Please advise.


Hello NS,

Thanks for the inquiry at the NDTOA discussion forum:

A section line that is seldom traveled may be gated across with the permission of the township board of supervisors. That permission is not permanent and may be rescinded at any time, in the case of a shared section line either township board of supervisors may rescind that permission and require that the right of way be restored; all obstructions within 33 feet on each side of the center line removed.
Since the purpose of the section line right of way is to provide for public transportation, either township on a shared line would have the right to use it for a road.
The township would need to insure that the improvements or construction meet appropriate specifications.

Thank you for the question,

Posted on 05/16/2023 by Forum@ndtoa.com