The circuit court erred in ruling that a parcel of land extended only to the edge of a road, rather than to its center, when the deed describes the property as being bounded by that road and further includes the property’s square footage as well as a reference to the subdivision plat.
This case arose after the defendant erected a construction fence and “no trespassing” sign along the boundary road preventing access to the plaintiff’s parcel. An established rule in Virginia is that a conveyance of land bounded by or along a way carries title to the center of the way, unless a contrary intent is shown. In light of the rule’s twin goals of limiting unnecessary litigation and protecting a grantee’s right of access, the defendant’s decision to erect the fence is precisely the sort of act the rule is designed to prevent.
When a deed describes a lot by reference to a survey plat depicting a street as a boundary, the deed conveys title to the center of that street. A mere reference to the plat does not constitute evidence of contrary intent.
Reversed and final judgment.