September 26, 2007

 

M E M O R A N D U M

 

 

TO:                  Board of Commissioners

 

FROM:            WILL WORLEY, ASSISTANT COUNTY ATTORNEY

 

RE:                   ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT GLYNN COUNTY CLAIMS NO INTEREST IN unused/UNOPENED 8TH AVENUE right-of-way IN GLyNn HAVEN SUBDIVISION

 

BACKGROUND

 

            Alan Worthley is the owner of property in Block 33, Glynn Haven Subdivision on St. Simons Island. Mr. Worthley has applied for a Coastal Marshlands Protection permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) so that he may build a dock on Dunbar Creek. The dock is proposed to be built on property immediately to the west of Block 33 (the subject property).        

 

            The subject property was originally platted as the right-of-way for 8th Avenue in Glynn Haven Subdivision on a plat recorded in Deed Book 4-B, Pages 317 through 322 in 1928. This plat depicts 8th Avenue at the west end of Atlantic Drive adjacent to Blocks 32 and 33 with the westerly right-of-way line labeled as the marsh. Subsequent plats of the Glynn Haven Subdivision do not depict 8th Avenue. The 8th Avenue right-of-way has never been opened or used as a street. The deed into Mr. Worthley conveys Block 33 along with the land immediately to the west and north of Block 33. This conveyance would include the 8th Avenue right-of-way to the west of Block 33.

 

            Kevin Brady with the DNR has asked this office if Glynn County claims an interest in the 8th Avenue right-of-way precisely where Mr. Worthley proposes to place his dock. Mr. Worthley’s attorney has requested that the Board of Commissioners acknowledge that Glynn County claims no interest in that portion of the 8th Avenue right-of-way immediately to the west of Block 33 between Block 33 and the marsh.

 

            This office has reviewed the documents submitted by Mr. Worthley’s attorney and the DNR. We have also reviewed our own records and the 1928 plat of Glynn Haven Subdivision. It does not appear that Glynn County has any recognizable or tangible interest in the 8th Avenue right-of-way where Mr. Worthley proposes to place a dock.

 

            The 1928 plat for Glynn Haven contains no dedication of the streets to the public or Glynn County. The plat instead states that the streets are to be opened by the owners with proceeds from the sale of lots within the subdivision. Therefore the only way Glynn County could have an interest in the portion of 8th Avenue in question would be by prescriptive easement by opening and maintaining the roadway. However, the Engineering Department has confirmed that the portion of the roadway in question is not used for road purposes.  

 

Therefore, this office recommends that the Board of Commissioners acknowledge that Glynn County claims no interest in the portion of the 8th Avenue right-of-way to the west of Block 33 between Block 33 and the marsh precisely where Mr. Worthley proposes to place a dock and authorize this office to issue a letter to the DNR stating same.  We would further recommend that this letter be limited to only that portion of 8th Avenue in question. It appears from the records reviewed that Glynn County has an interest in the other streets in Glynn Haven by virtue of prescriptive easement or other means.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

  1. Decline to acknowledge that Glynn County claims no interest in the portion of 8th Avenue in question.  Glynn County could choose to abandon that portion of the roadway or Mr. Worthley could initiate court proceedings to clear title.

 

  1. Acknowledge that Glynn County does not claim an interest in that portion of the 8th Avenue right-of-way immediately west and adjacent to Block 33 where Mr. Worthley proposes to place a dock to access Dunbar Creek.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

            Alternative number two, acknowledge that Glynn County does not claim an interest in that portion of the 8th Avenue right-of-way immediately west and adjacent to Block 33 where Mr. Worthley proposes to place a dock to access Dunbar Creek, is recommended.

 

RECOMMENDED MOTION

 

            I move that the Board of Commissioners acknowledge that, pursuant to the original plat of the Glynn Haven Subdivision and due to the fact that Glynn County has never opened or maintained 8th Avenue.  Glynn County does not claim an interest in that portion of 8th Avenue immediately west and adjacent to Block 33 where Alan Worthley proposes a dock to access Dunbar Creek. I further move that we authorize the County Attorney to submit a letter to the Georgia DNR stating same.  

 

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Enclosure