Lancaster, CA asked in Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for California

Q: The city abandoned a road In front of property I own without notification. Is this ok?

I went to look at my property, and I came upon "K" rail blocking my access, and I saw that the road was Jack Hammered in front of where my property lies (Land). I've been going to my lot each month, to keep it clean and preparing it so I may build on it one day soon. My intention was to start this year 2024. I'm so frustrated. I'm sure the other owners were not informed either. I have pictures if needed.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, a city generally cannot abandon a public road without following a specific legal process, which includes providing notice to affected property owners. The California Streets and Highways Code (Sections 8300-8363) outlines the procedures for abandoning public roads.

Here are some key points:

1. Notice: The city must provide written notice to all affected property owners before abandoning a public road.

2. Public hearing: The city must hold a public hearing to allow property owners and other interested parties to voice their concerns or objections.

3. Resolution: After the public hearing, the city council must adopt a resolution declaring their intention to abandon the road.

4. Access: If the abandonment would cut off all access to a property, the city must either provide an alternative means of access or compensate the property owner for the loss of access.

If the city did not follow these procedures and you were not notified about the road abandonment, you may have grounds to challenge the city's actions. You should consider taking the following steps:

1. Contact the city's public works department or the city attorney's office to inquire about the road abandonment process and whether proper notice was given.

2. Consult with a local real estate attorney who specializes in municipal law and property rights to discuss your legal options and potential remedies.

3. If necessary, file a complaint or lawsuit against the city to protect your property rights and ensure that proper procedures are followed.

Remember to keep all relevant documents, correspondence, and photographs related to the road abandonment and your property to support your case.

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