UDOT v. Harvey Real Estate

Utah Supreme Court
2002 UT 107, 57 P.3d 1088

The rights of access, light, and air are easements appurtenant to the land of an abutting owner on a street; the constitute property rights forming part of the owner’s estate. These substantial property rights may not be taken away or impaired without just compensation.

In order to recover for such a taking, an owner must show that the structure violates some right appurtenant to the abutting property or otherwise inflicts some special and peculiar injury. If an appurtenant right is severed from the property, damages may be awarded for the losses caused by the severance of the right.

The right of access is an appurtenant right. This right does not include the right to travel in any particular direction from one’s property or upon any particular part of the highway right-of-way. Nor does the right of ingress and egress to and from one’s property include any right in and to existing public traffic on the highway, or any right to have such traffic pass by one’s abutting property. The interest protected simply entails the right of ingress and egress to and from the property and the abutting public highway. The right does not extend so far as to guarantee a property owner that its property will be accessed through specific intersections or that the roads accessing the property will be easily accessed from other thoroughfares.

Full text of UDOT v. Harvey Real Estate