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Section 6: Sale of Surplus Right of Way (Fee Simple) to the Abutting Landowner(s)

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Overview

If the LPA does not acquire a surplus right of way interest when the state owns fee simple title, it can be sold to the abutting landowner(s).

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.

If any of the landowners decline to purchase their portion, the remaining abutting landowners may purchase the adjusted portions of surplus right of way, 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 surplus right of way interest, the entire tract can be sold to that owner, even if their property does not abut the entire surplus tract.

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Procedures

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

The department prepares submission package.

The ROW program office in Austin follows procedures outlined in Section 4, Sale of Surplus Right of Way (Fee Simple) to an LPA.

After the department approves the recommended value, the department will ask the landowner(s) to provide a current licensed attorney’s opinion based on an examination of the deed records and indicating all the owners of land abutting the surplus right of way interest.

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Sale by Sealed Bid

Occasionally, surplus right of way may be sold by sealed bid to the general public:

  • if the tract of land owned in fee simple by the state is surrounded by public roads and other right of way
  • if the abutting landowner declines to purchase a tract of surplus right of way.

In this type of sealed bid sale (see Sealed Bid Sales), the department must be sure that any property interests of abutting private property owners are not interfered with, especially access to the highway facility.

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