2011 Vermont Code
Title 19 Highways
§ 33 Survey of existing highways; damages

19 VT Stats § 33. (2011 through Adj Sess) What's This?

§ 33. Survey of existing highways; damages

(a) For the purposes of this and the following section of this title, the word "survey" means:

(1) A survey of the existing highway where no previous survey has been properly recorded or the record of a previous survey has not been preserved, or the terminations and boundaries of a previous survey cannot be determined; or

(2) A resurvey to reproduce a previous survey or surveys.

(b) The agency, for state highways, and the selectmen, for town highways, may authorize the survey of existing highways, and the rights-of-way, easements or fee title associated with those highways. The purpose of the survey shall be to verify the location and width of the existing right-of-way, easement, or fee title and to determine the extent of the interest of the public in the title. A notice of intent to survey an existing highway shall be sent to all known abutting landowners by certified mail. In performance of the survey, the agency or selectmen shall attempt to determine from all available evidence, the type of highway, its location on the ground, its width, and the record title holder. The survey shall be based on all available evidence including, but not limited to, survey descriptions, original survey bills, plats, plans, maps, photographs, discontinuances, court documents, public service board orders, actions by the selectmen, existing monumentation, present road locat

ion, nearby intersections, topography, vegetation, past and current use patterns and other additional information generally relied on by land surveyors. The surveys shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of chapter 45 of Title 26.

(c) If, during the performance of the survey process under this section, the location or limits, or both, of the right-of-way, easement or fee title cannot be determined on the ground from the available evidence, the agency or the selectmen may instead cause a survey to be made of the centerline of the existing traveled way and a width of one and one-half rods on each side of the centerline shall be assumed and controlled for highway purposes.

(d) Once a survey is completed, the agency or selectmen shall cause the right-of-way, easement or fee title to be monumented in accordance with the survey plat and in such a manner that will allow its limits to be readily apparent to all adjacent property owners. Monumentation shall be permanent and shall include not less than two intervisible monuments located on, within or adjacent to the highway limits. Intervisible monuments shall be at intervals of not more than 200 meters. All monuments shall be referenced to the Vermont state plane coordinate system in accordance with applicable statutes and standards in effect.

(e) The agency or selectmen shall have the survey placed on record in the town clerk's office in each town in which the survey is performed. The record shall include, but not be limited to, survey plats prepared and filed in accordance with 27 V.S.A. §§ 1401-1406, a written description of the survey and an opinion naming the record title holder. The description and plat shall include coordinates referenced to the Vermont state plane coordinate system. All recorded or filed material shall be indexed.

(f) Notice of the completion of the survey shall be sent to all known abutting landowners by certified mail, not less than 30 days before the survey results are filed with the appropriate town clerk, together with notice of statutory rights of appeal and damages.

(g) Upon recordation of the survey and upon final disposition of statutory appeals, all abutting and surrounding lands outside the limits of the survey shall be deemed discontinued, unless any rights deemed necessary are expressly reserved and clearly shown on the recorded survey plat. Title to the discontinued property shall belong to the owners of the abutting lands. If it is located between the lands of two different owners, it shall be returned to the lots to which it originally belonged, if they can be determined; if not, it shall be equally divided between the owners of the lands on each side.

(h) Damages. A property owner aggrieved by a survey may seek damages for the loss of property or for the loss of an interest in property. (Added 1985, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), { 1; amended 1993, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), { 1.)

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