Reversionary Rights

Posted on 05. Mar, 2011 by in Uncategorized

An area of concern for some people has been the spectre of reversionary rights along the rail corridor.  This means that some fear that if the rails and ties are removed from the corridor bed that the contiguous landowners would be able to have the property rights of that section of the corridor “revert” to them.  However, there is somewhere between a 0% and a 1% chance (but closer to 0%) that this “reversion” could occur.  This is based on history and a court case.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A CASE WHEREIN A CONTIGUOUS LAND OWNER HAS SUCCESSFULLY RECLAIMED RAILBANKED LAND. THIS MATTER OF REVERSIONARY RIGHTS WAS SETTLED IN 1990 VIA THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT CASE OF PRESEAULT V. ICC, 494 U.S. 1 (1990).In this FEDERAL case the court unanimously determined the National Trail System Act was constitutional and the transfer of a rail corridor to a subsequent entity eliminated contiguous land owner “reversionary” rights.  The only matter now being contested in the courts is “just compensation,” and the statute of limitations on this is 6 years, or 9 years ago.   nothing in any of these cases has to do with removal of rails and ties, but with the transfer of the railbanked corridor from an operating railroad, to a subsequent entity for trail use.  Thus, in the SPTC case, any contestations of reversionary rights or just compensation, would have been fought immediately after the 1996 purchase of the SPTC, and would not be ignited by removal of the rails and ties.  Read more about problems & concerns in the SHINGLE SRINGS PLAN…

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