House Oks Ackerman bill that would allow Cumberland to sell abandoned roads to abutting property owners


STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) that would enable the town of Cumberland to sell abandoned roads to abutting property owners.

The legislation (2022-H 7952) would allow the town of Cumberland upon request for abandonment of a highway or a driftway from an abutting property owner to sell the highway or driftway to the abutting owner at fair market value.

“This is a good way for Cumberland to increase revenue without increasing taxes or fees,” said Representative Ackerman. “The continuing expansion of residential development has increased the demand for undeveloped tracts of land. This law not only would help the town by increasing its revenue through the sale of land, it would also broaden its tax base. It would give abutting property owners the chance to own more land and increase their property value. It’s a win-win for all.”

Under state law, road abandonment takes place when a city or town council determines that a road or planned road ceases to be useful to the public. Once a road is established as a public thoroughfare, its public status continues until the road is discontinued or abandoned.

The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2022-S 2654) has been introduced by Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln).