Nichole Hannahs

When a Road isn’t a Road

by Nichole Hannahs on December 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

While a roadway may exist on paper in reality finding it can be a bit of a challenge.

That’s the problem Salem Township resident John Wofter brought before Muskingum County Commissioners. Wofter recently bought a piece of property, but can’t access it by vehicle because it’s surrounded by land owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

ODNR won’t let Wofter drive a vehicle onto his property because it crosses a piece of their land. Now he must prove Township Road 330 exists and figure out where it runs so he can access his land by vehicle.

"The front part was striped. ODNR owns all the way around and this piece of property sets in there by itself," explained Wofter. "I’m just trying to get a right of way into it."

Since township maps show the roadway, Commissioner Jim Porter said it should be easy to establish where the road once ran and give Wofter the access he desires.

"I think Mr. Wofter has a good case. It’s established the road exists. A few years ago when it was stripped the road disappeared and there wasn’t any accurate surveying done and they never maintained the road, so now it’s up to us to determine where that road should have been or should be replaced," said Porter.

The commissioners recommended Wofter speak to the Muskingum County Engineer’s Office to meet with their surveyor to figure out where the road runs. Commissioner Porter is hopeful they’ll be a quick solution to the issue.