On December 8, 2016, the Virginia Supreme Court issued (another) unpublished order in a matter involving a property owners association. This order, in Bodak, et al. v. Mayne, et al., finds that a private easement exists on a lot for access of the Shenandoah River that was established on a subdivision plat.
The full opinion and more info available after the jump.
In August 1969, Martin and Suzanna Price subdivided a tract of land into 47 lots and recorded the subdivision plat.
The plat labels three areas as a “Right-Of-Way.” The first is a fifty-foot-wide right-of-way upon which a road is located. The second is a thirty-foot-wide right-of-way known as the “Parking and Recreation Area.” The third is another thirty-foot wide right-of-way that extends north from the western end of the road to the river, along the western edge of a lot (lot 25). This third right-of-way is the subject of the appeal.
James Bodak acquired lot 25 in 2003. In 2013, he wrote a letter to the subdivision’s property owners’ association providing that he does “not recognize” any right in the POA or other lot owners to use lot 25 to access the river.
The POA and 10 lot owners (“appellees”) filed for permanent injunctive relief against Bodak, seeking to enjoin him from preventing free and unencumbered access to the river via the right-of-way on lot 25.
The Circuit Court held for the POA and lot owners. The Supreme Court affirmed.