Can A Developer Turn Our Cul-De-Sac Into A Street Without Our Permission?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

I have lived on a road that is a “no Outlet†cul-de-sac for over 14 years. At the end of the cul-de-sac is a dirt path with a stream on one side and steep slope on the other. The path goes through to the next street. On maps, this road indicates that it goes all the way through, but as stated it has always just been a dirt path. A developer is planning to build multiple homes at the top of the steep hill, and there is discussion about making our road a through road to accommodate new traffic from these new homes. What are our rights in terms of losing our cul-de-sac, run off, etc? How can we best educate ourselves to lobby against this?

Detective work will be your first step, since your legal rights depend on the history of the area. Regardless of how the path is being used currently, if it was set aside early on to be a road, someone retains the right to make it one
(and the developer can purchase that right). So I would start by looking for a subdivision map or similar document showing how the neighborhood was developed into what it is today.

There are other possibilities, of course, and this can develop into a fairly complex matter, so it might be worth investing a little money in some legal advice from a good local real estate attorney.