Paper Streets: The Gap Between Dedication and Acceptance

Any area shown on a recorded map or plat at the registry of deeds as a highway, but which does not have any physical improvement constructed on the face of the earth may be called a “paper street." For the purposes of this article, also included in this category are those roads which do exist on the ground in some form, but which have not been formally accepted as a public highway. Each “paper street" presents vexing problems for affected landowners, municipal officials, land surveyors, conveyancing attorneys and financial institutions.

Municipal Road Files: Why Are They Important? What Should They Contain?

For years, municipal attorneys and the attorneys at the New Hampshire Local Government Center (LGC) have advised municipalities to create and maintain files containing information about their local highways. Transportation corridors are important local assets held by the municipality in trust for the benefit of everyone, but they are adjacent to privately owned land and thus questions and disputes about the scope of the public’s rights and the rights of individual landowners are inevitable.