Michigan landlocked property

Asked September 15, 2016, 7:00 AM EDT

Is a piece of property in Michigan considered landlocked if the only access other than private property entering from the Flat River? The property in question is approx. 2.5 acres owned by Pine Twp in Montcalm County sec 26. [It is a small piece that is part of the original plat of the town of Langston, Mi. back in the 1800's.] It is a continuation of private property starting on Stanton, Rd. [522] on the S. going to the edge of the Flat River and is posted on the E. and W. side by this individual starting on the W. side and posted on the E. side by another property owner. The N. side is located on the Flat River. The only open access without getting permission from land owners would be to wade the river. There are no records of an easement, road or any other access either stated or implied that anyone has found. Does the 1997 Land Division act mean a piece of property must have LAND based access or does river access count as access? Pine Twp. claims the river counts as access. Everything I have read specifies a road or some type of land access. Can you tell me which is correct?.

Montcalm County Michigan

1 Response

For purposes of the Land Division Act, accessible means that a parcel has or will have a driveway or easement providing vehicular access to an existing road or street. (The driveway or easement must also satisfy the location standards of state and local road authorities.) The Land Division Act regulates the separation of land into two or more small parcels and sets standards for creating subdivision lots. Under the Act, any division of land that will result in one or more of the parcels being less than 40 acres (or the equivalent) is subject to local government review before the owner can convey or record the new parcel. However, the accessibility requirement of the Land Division Act does not apply if your situation does not involve creation of a new parcel, e.g., from a division or split.

Generally, an existing parcel may continue to legally exist without having access over land. Although, as a practical matter, it may be difficult to use or sell it without establishing road access by agreement or by operation of law where available. You should consult with an experienced real estate attorney if you need to determine what options you have for creating other access.

See also: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/land_division_act_basics_for_landowners