Lapse of Time Does Not Extinguish an Offer of Dedication

Land Use, Municipal Law

Recently, in Underhill Ave. Corp. v Village of Croton-on-Hudson, 2011 NY Slip Op 01998 (2d Dept. 2011), the Appellate Division, Second Department, was asked to decide upon the validity of an offer of dedication that was over fifty years old.  The offer in question was a building lot that was dedicated to the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as a playground area pursuant to a condition of the original subdivision approval. 

The undisputed facts before the Court showed that: (i) the final plat for the subdivision noted the offer to dedicate the lot as a ”playground area”; (ii) the Village never accepted the offer of dedication; and (iii) all interested parties never revoked the offer of dedication. 

The Court held that “[a] lapse of time does not extinguish an offer of dedication, which may be accepted at any time prior to a valid revocation by all interested parties (see West Ctr. Cong. Church v Efstathiou, 215 AD2d 753; Hastings Petroleum Corp. v Incorporated Vil. of Hastings-on-Hudson, 13 AD2d 963, affd 11 NY2d 850). Further, a failure to accept an offer of dedication is not a rejection of that offer (see Foreal Homes v Incorporated Vil. of Muttontown, 128 AD2d 585, affd for reasons stated 71 NY2d 821; West Ctr. Cong. Church v Efstathiou, 215 AD2d 753).”

Therefore, so long as an offer of dedication is not revoked by all interested parties (which in this case, included all subdivision homeowners who purchased their lots with referece to the subdivision map), a municipality may accept that offer at any time thereafter.

A fully copy of Court’s decision is available online at: Underhill Ave. Corp. v Village of Croton-on-Hudson, 2011 NY Slip Op 01998 (2d Dept. 2011).

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