How can a homeowner acquire formal title to a Paper Street?

If an abutting property owner desires to obtain formal title to the center portion of a "paper street," he may do so but the process is both time consuming and somewhat expensive. First, the homeowner must ascertain whether any utility lines are located within the "paper street." If so, the borough will not agree to formally vacate the "paper street" so that it may have access to repair and maintain such utilities. The reason why a municipality will not vacate a "paper street" which contains utilities is because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that a municipality cannot legally vacate a street and at the same time reserve itself an easement to access utilities within the boundaries of the vacated street.

If the abutting property owner ascertains that no utilities are located within the "paper street," a qualified engineer must then be retained to ascertain and plot the center line of the "paper street" as well as all easements. Based upon such engineering plan, a formal petition is then presented to the Borough, signed by all abutting property owners, north, south, east and west, consenting to the "vacation" of the "paper street." If approved by the Borough, then a Quit-Claim Deed must be prepared by an attorney for presentment to the Borough to relinquish any right and title it may have in such tract. If the Borough approves the Deed, it may be filed subject to other easements of record.

Show All Answers

1. What is a "Paper Street"?
2. Where do Paper Streets come from?
3. Who own the Paper Street?
4. What can I do on a Paper Street?
5. How can a homeowner acquire formal title to a Paper Street?