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Section 6: Sale of Right of Way (Fee Simple) No Longer Needed for a State Highway Purpose to the Abutting Landowner(s)

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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.

If the GE does not exercise its priority right to purchase a tract of right of way, abutting landowner(s) must be notified of their priority right to purchase the right of way before it can be offered to the public at a sealed bid. The minimum price the right of way can be offered to the abutting landowners is the amount that was offered to the GEs in their priority period.

In any sale or exchange when the abutting landowner is a trust, or a person who is a trustee, contact the ROW program office in Austin.

The abutting landowners may be offered a share of the right of way that is proportionate to the amount of shared property line between the abutting tract and the subject right of way interest or each owner of land that abuts the right of way.

If abutting landowners are offered a portion of the right of way tract, and any of the abutting landowners decline to exercise their priority right to purchase their portion, the remaining abutting landowners may purchase the adjusted portions of the tract, provided there is no interference with an adjacent owner’s rights, including access to the highway facility.

If only one of the abutting landowners is interested in purchasing the right of way interest no longer needed for a state highway purpose, the entire tract can be sold to that owner, even if their property does not abut the entire tract.

If multiple abutting landowners are offered their priority right to purchase an entire real estate tract of which a portion abuts their land, and in response, multiple abutting landowners express their intent to purchase on the offered terms, then the exercising abutting landowners will enter a sealed bid just among those abutting owners that expressed intent to purchase to determine who the purchaser will be.

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Procedures

The department notifies owner(s) of their priority right to purchase a portion of the right of way interest abutting their property and explains all associated expenses.

The ROW program office in Austin follows submission requirements outlined in Sale of Right of Way (Fee Simple) No Longer Needed for State Highway Purpose to a GE under the Statutory Priority.

If an abutting landowner is proposing to purchase property, the landowner will provide a current licensed attorney’s opinion based on an examination of the deed records, identifying all of the landowner(s) abutting or underlying the right of way interest no longer needed for a state highway purpose.

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