I am looking at leasing a commercial property, but one problem with it is that it has two parking lots, front and rear and the only way to get to the rear lot is by a very narrow passage that is about one car-width wide. Because there is no visibility, it is easy to see an accident happening there, one car coming in and another going out and hitting each other.

The reason for the narrow way is that a corner of the building on the property comes up against the lot line very closely like this:

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The building is the tan thing above and the lines show the two abutting lots. Each side of the square is 100 feet, so you can see the gap is only about 8 feet wide. Both of the abutting lots are state lands which are dry but connect to a marsh, so they are held as "open space" by a state parks commission. I would like to get a small easement on these abutting lands to widen the parking lot at the corner so that two cars may pass by in safety.

Obviously I can request an easement from the state parks commission, but I am wondering if I have any legal grounds in Massachusetts to get a court-ordered easement for reasons of safety which would not require the cooperation of the parks commission.

  • 2
    Do what every other sensible body does, and put in a mirror, or an automated light-and-buzzer system.
    – user4657
    Mar 31, 2017 at 5:57

2 Answers 2


I cannot speak for Massachusetts but in general, easements are only granted voluntarily (which would require your neighbors cooperation) or if you are a utility with a statutory right to them or where the reason for the easement is both required by law (yours isn't) and impossible to achieve in any other way.

Impossible means physically or legally impossible, not just impractical and expensive. You could, for example, modify or demolish that corner of the building: this would be impracticable but not impossible.

Of course, you could just buy a convex mirror.


There are a variety of common law easements that are implied in law, such as an easement by necessity (easement by estoppel, easement implied in fact, prescriptive easement), but generally those easements only arise when it is necessary to have the easement to gain access or represent historic access means to the property, and not when access is present but subpar.

Absent an express grant of permission from the landowner (apparently the state) a solution along the lines of the convex mirror suggested by Dale M and perhaps a warning sign or two would be the more viable solution.

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