The September 11, 1935, Agreement between the Landowner and the Commonwealth says "A road way is to be provided for a foard [ford] crossing at appx sta 1094+50". This means that the Commonwealth promises to provide a ford crossing for the Landowner at highway station 1094 +50. Highway station 1094+50 is the approximate location where the Landowner's original entrance was destroyed by the relocation of the Jackson River.
"A road way is to be provided for a foard [ford] crossing at appx sta 1094+50"
"Consideration: $750.00 for land, fencing, tearing down or moving three buildings, apple and sugar trees, and all damages to residue.
It is agreed the State is to lay a 1" water line from the north side of road at Station 1077+90 to a point back of her house and construct a concrete watering trough 2' x 4' x 2'.
A road way is to be provided for foard [ford] crossing at appx sta 1094+50. 'The timber is reserved by the owner and is to be cut under the standard timber clause.
'The owner agrees to clear the right of way before payment is made and in the event they should fail to do so, the State has the right to remove same and deduct the cost from the above consideration."
1996.09.20 (John Beall to Anthony O’Connell)
"You have apparently written to a number of legislators, state and federal, about the problem that you have in Highland County due to the Department of Highway's acquisition of property in 1935 that has left the Jackson River between your property and Route 220. Senator Robb and Delegate Flora Crittenden forwarded your letters to the Attorney General asking that he write you directly. The Attorney General asked me to respond. I have responded directly for the Attorney General to State Senators Yotts, Stolle and Delegate Forbes.
You told Delegate Crittenden that your "goal is to obtain a binding completion date for the bridge by the Highway Department or a clear opinion that the landowner is responsible." You asked Senator Robb "for an independent ruling that leaves no room for ambiguity or confusion".
Section 33.1-199 was enacted in 1938, three years after the Department of Highways purchased the property from your predecessor in title. As a consequence that statute has no relevance to your issue.
The Department of Highways purchased the property that has led to the situation that you face in 1935. Any breach of that bargain with your predecessor in title would have had to be litigated long before now.
With respect to § 33.1-197, the Department of Transportation, successor to the Department of Highways, routinely grants entrance permits, subject to being satisfied that the safety of the users of such entrance and those on the main highway will not be compromised by the placement and utilization of the entrance. Construction of the entrance, however, is the responsibility of the landowner, including such items as curb and gutter or deceleration or acceleration lanes. The Attorney General in April 1975 was asked for an opinion whether a landowner can be required by the Department of Highways "to construct at his own expense, a turn-off or deceleration lane on the public right of way." It was the opinion of the Attorney General, then and it still is today, that the inherent police power that the Department possesses would permit the Department to require the landowner to construct those features. I enclose a copy of that opinion to then Delegate D. French Slaughter. While that opinion directly addressed § 33.1-198 (commercial entrances) the reasoning is equally applicable to § 33.1-197 (private entrances). Thus, the Department of Transportation has no responsibility under the entrance permit statutes to construct the bridge that apparently is necessary to reach Route 220 from your property.
I hope that this is responsive to your inquiries to Senator Robb and Delegate Crittenden.
Sincerely, John J. Beall, Jr,
Senior Assistant Attorney General
56/157 (jjb: ltoconel.rob)
cc: The Honorable Charles S. Robb
The Honorable Flora D. Crittenden"
(John Beall's enclosures totaling six pages)