Vacate Road and Right-of-way

WHAT IS A ROAD VACATION?

A road or right-of-way vacation is governed by R.C.W. 36.87. It is a process where land owners can have the public's interest in roads or right-of-ways removed.  There may still be encumbrances on the portions vacated, as only the County/Public interest in the road is removed. Washington State Legislature Complete Chapter 36.87

WHO ASKS FOR A VACATION?

Generally the person who wants the road or right-of-way which abuts their property vacated will be the "Principal Petitioner". Any other neighbors who want the same road or right-of-way which abuts their property vacated under the same petition can sign the petition as "Co-Petitioners".  GCPW generally requires that all owners on both sides participate.

WHO DECIDES IF THE ROAD IS VACATED?

The Grant County Board of Commissioners is empowered with deciding if a road or right-of-way will be vacated. The Commissioners rely on recommendations from the County Engineer and on testimony at a public hearing which must be held before a road can be vacated. They are responsible for protecting the general public's interest and the vacation is at their discretion. A favorable recommendation from the County Engineer and no opposition to the vacation at the public hearing are helpful in obtaining the vacation.

When the road has been vacated by operation of law, or statute, the Board of Commissioners adopts by approving or denying a resolution recognizing the statutory vacation.  Approval of the resolution is recorded, so a legal document is generated to remove clouds on title.

HOW LONG DOES A VACATION TAKE?

It usually takes four to six weeks before the public hearing can be set. This can be done only after the petition is returned, with the proper signatures, to the Department of Public Works for processing.  The County Attorney and County Engineer must both review the petition.  A Notice of Hearing is signed by the Board.  The Notice of Hearing must be posted on the area to be vacated on ingress/egress locations for a minimum of 20 days.  The Notice must be published in the public notice section of the official county newspaper at least 2 x in the 2 weeks preceding the vacation.  

No other Notice is required by law, but you can request a Notice of Hearing be e-mailed to you.  You may contact the Road Information Services person for information, to submit information for or against, and to ask about progress.  Currently, the Road Information person is Barb O'Neill : [email protected].

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The basic petitioning fee is $125.00.

Vacation Petition Packet