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Section 10: Disposition Without Consideration of Right of Way Interests No Longer Needed

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Overview

Note: The Right of Way Manual provides guidance for disposition of property interests that are no longer needed for state highway purposes. Unless otherwise stated, procedures outlined below apply to property interests that are no longer needed for state highway purposes.

In certain situations, the statute provides for a quitclaim deed, correction deed or other instrument to an appropriate party without consideration. The department has the option to follow the procedures in Initial Procedures for all Dispositions and applicable procedures in Sale of Right of Way (Fee Simple) No Longer Needed for State Highway Purpose to a GE.

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Disposition to Honor a Reversionary Clause

If an instrument conveying title to right of way contains a reversionary clause, the state can quitclaim or release its interest in the right of way. The ROW program office in Austin is available to provide guidance regarding determining if language in documents is a reversionary clause.

A $300 service fee is required for the ROW program office in Austin to prepare a minute order and process an instrument quitclaiming or releasing the state’s title to honor a reversionary clause. A GE would not pay a service fee.

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Disposition to Correct an Error or Ambiguity

When there is an error or ambiguity in a conveyance document to the state, the Commission may recommend that the Governor execute a quitclaim deed, correction deed, or other appropriate instrument to correct the error or ambiguity. No service fee is required.

Examples of errors or ambiguities are:

  • incomplete or incorrect property description
  • acquisition of land or an interest in land not intended to be acquired and not needed for a state highway purpose.

The department submission requirements and the ROW program office in Austin procedure are similar to those in Section 4. However, there may not be an appraisal or survey unless there was an incomplete or incorrect property description in the conveyance document to the state.

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Quitclaim of Right of Way

The statute includes certain situations requiring the state to quitclaim any interest in land that may have accrued from the state’s use of the land. It may also be necessary to remove the land from the State Highway system.

Some of these situations are:

  • there is no record title in the name of the state or a GE
  • record title is in the name of a GEand the state has been using the right of way as part of the system
  • record title is in the county’s name but the right of way is now within city limits. If the city needs the right of way for local road purposes, the city and county pass resolutions requesting the removal from the system and the transfer of jurisdiction and maintenance to the city. The right of way can be quitclaimed to the city.

When a highway or highway segment is recommended for removal from the highway system, the department will submit the required information to the ROW program office in Austin.

The department’s written recommendation to the ROW program office in Austin, with a copy to the Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP), must include:

  • department’s statement advising that the right of way is not needed for a state highway purpose and recommending the removal from the system
  • if the grantee will be a GE, then a resolution will be needed from the GE requesting that the right of way be removed from the system and quitclaimed or released to the GE
  • an appropriate legal description of the right of way to be removed from the system and a survey plat
  • a letter-size area location map with north arrow.

The ROW program office in Austin will:

  • review the department’s request and obtain concurrence from TPP
  • notify the department that the request has been approved
  • prepare and submit a minute order for the Commission to consider the removal from the system and quitclaim or release of the right of way
  • route the instrument for signatures
  • send the fully executed instrument to the department contact for recording and for delivery to the grantee
  • modify right of way map(s) to reflect the transaction.

The department will furnish the original recorded instrument to the grantee and update its records and modify right of way map(s) to make note of the transaction.

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