Wakefield, RI asked in Land Use & Zoning for Rhode Island

Q: I own 2 lots in Narragansett RI. There is a paper road between the two properties. Does the town own the paper road.

The paper road is woods and swamp, not even a path or dirt road exists. It probably could not be made into a road because of water table. It was platted over 70 years ago. Does the town own the land or just hold a ROW for the property? The other roads in the neighborhood are paved and maintained by the town but nothing has been done with the paper road.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Andrew Bilodeau
Andrew Bilodeau
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • West Warwick, RI
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: Hello,

The paper road is just that a road on the plan that was once anticipated to be a road. The only way to determine the ownership of that paper road is by conducting a title examination. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you.

Albin Moser
Albin Moser pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Providence, RI
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: A paper road remains the town's property even if the town does nothing with it. The town does not have to build a road on it in order to keep it as a paper road. The town retains the option to build a road on the area of the paper road at any time in the future.

As for whether or not the land is buildable as a roadway, you will have to assume that it is. It might be expensive to do it, but it can be done.

Sorry I don't have any good news for you.

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