October 8, 2021
- Whether the trial court erred in dismissing a petition to quiet title and for declaratory judgment?
The plaintiff, Bellevue Properties owns and operates the North Conway Grand Hotel which abuts the Settlers’ Green outlet shopping center owned by the defendant 13 Green Street Properties. The defendant planned to construct a mixed-use development in Settlers’ Green including a supermarket and a parking lot on an undeveloped parcel and an abutting lot and in so doing, replace a current road, which was formerly a class V highway, with a new private road. The current road was a part of the most direct means of accessing the North Conway Grand Hotel. The plaintiff appealed the trial court order granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s petition to quiet title to the land underneath the current road. The plaintiff argued that the plaintiff had an easement in the form of a private right of access over the road pursuant to RSA 231:43, III. The trial court dismissed the petition agreeing with the defendant that the plaintiff’s property did not directly abut the current road and therefore, they could not assert a statutory right of access over the road under RSA 231:43, III. The Court affirmed the trial court’s decision in holding that the plaintiff could not assert a statutory right of access over the current road pursuant to RSA 231:43, III because even without the current road the plaintiff had adequate and reasonable access to its property and therefore a right of access over the current road was not reasonably necessary for the plaintiff’s ingress and egress to its property.
Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, of Manchester (Christina A. Ferrari on the brief and Roy W. Tilsley, Jr. on the brief and orally), for the plaintiff. Sulloway & Hollis of Concord (Derek D. Lick on the brief and orally) for the defendants.