Easements: Dedication Of Street Didn’t Extinguish Easement In Alley

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 12:00 am
Land Use Law Report, Volume 41, Number 12

When a Virginia city acquired an alley by dedication, it did not also acquire an eighteenth-century easement--and thus could not issue permits to block the alley with new construction.

Facts: The Old Dominion Boat Club (ODBC) challenged the City of Alexandria’s decision to grant a special use permit to build an outdoor dining deck in an alley in which ODBC claimed it owned a private easement. In 1789, John Fitzgerald and Valentine Peers executed a deed of partition, which divided land between them but also reserved "the free use and passage of the several Streets and Alleys in common now left by them from their grounds for the more easy communication with the public main Streets and the river[.]"

One of these alleys, known as Wales Alley, was the subject of this suit.

ODBC is a successor in interest to John Fitzgerald. 106 Union Dublin LLC and 106 Union Ireland, LLC (together, Union) are successors in interest to Valentine Peers. In 2010, Union sought a special use permit from the City to build an elevated deck on Wales Alley, which would block o[..]


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