Private road rights

Asked February 21, 2015, 10:24 AM EST

I live on a private lane with 5 parcels. Only two of these are full time residency. It has deeded rights for ingress and egress. I do virtually all of the summer and winter maintenance on this lane with no pay or reimbursement of costs incurred. In the winter, when I plow snow in front of my neighbor's house, am I required to remove the snow bank at the end of her driveway? She says I am plowing her in. This would be similar to when the county plows in front of a house on a rural road. They don't "open" the driveways.
Sometimes if she has company, they park in the lane, blocking access to my home, or leaving a very narrow path around their (old and junky) vehicle. If I try to squeeze around it, I could damage my vehicle. What are my options?

Cass County Michigan

1 Response

The only answer I could give you to your question is a personal opinion as this is not really a land use issue that I can provide a clear answer to. I think this is a private matter that you should probably take up with your neighbor directly. It might be time to convene a meeting of all the property owners who share the drive. Others may be having the same kind of challenges. You could set some ground rules about parking, plowing etc. I understand, however, that given the two of you are the only full-time residents that may be difficult. You could try a diplomatically written letter explaining to the neighbor that you are plowing the drive for your own access and that if she would like you to plow her drive you would do that for a fee. Perhaps keeping this issues separate at this time might also be a good idea. The only other option would be to discuss your options with a lawyer to see if you have any legal recourse. I would definitely try communicating with her directly first to avoid any costly litigation. Good Luck.