Committee turns to attorney on rights-of-way issues

11:00 am | November 13, 2013

Seeing potential to be dragged into unwanted legal situations, members of the Carter County Highway Committee turned to County Attorney Keith Bowers to look into two issues brought before them by county residents at their Tuesday morning meeting.

Mark Watson voices his concerns about an old county right-of-way that cuts across his property.

Mark Watson voices his concerns about an old county right-of-way that cuts across his property to the Carter County Highway Committee.

An unused right-of-way and a request for a water line gave board members pause.
Mark Watson, who lives on John Taylor Road off of Gap Creek Road, and his father-in-law Terry Tester asked the committee to strike an old county road and right-of-way off the public record.

“The right-of-way doesn’t exist,” Watson said. “You guys never accepted it. What we are running into is that a gentleman wants to cut a road through the center of our property.”

Roughly 50 years ago, Watson said the land was originally supposed to be developed into a subdivision, but was never completed. A right-of-way was granted for the previous landowners to access the property, Watson said.

“If it has never been accepted as a road then I don’t know why we need to do anything,” Carter County Highway Committee Chairman Buford Peters said.
Watson also presented the committee with documentation from a court proceeding regarding the situation.

“Both sides dropped it,” Tester said. “He has been trying and threatening to reopen (the case).”

Commissioner Joel Street asked Watson to understand that the county attorney must look at the issue before the committee can take any action.

A motion made by Street to have the county attorney look into the situation and make a recommendation to the committee was unanimously approved.

Another issue turned over to Bowers for study involved a request made by Barbara Moffett, who owns a mobile home park in Hampton and who asked the committee to approve the building of a water line along a county right-of-way to two mobile homes on the property she owns.

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