An easement may be created by express written grant, by implication, by prescription, or by estoppel. An easement, such as a right of way, is created when the owner of a tenement to which the right is claimed to be appurtenant, or those under whom he claims title, have openly, peaceably, continuously, and under a claim of right adverse to the owner of the soil, and with his knowledge and acquiescence, used a way over the lands of another for as much as 15 years.
Appellee homeowners built a residence on property adjoining the appellant landowners' property. With the permission of the landowners, the homeowners used and maintained an access road owned by the landowners during the period of home construction. After the construction, the homeowners continued to use the roadway to access the public highway. The homeowners claimed a right to the use of the roadway by prescription and by estoppel. The trial court (Kentucky) determined that a right to the use of the roadway by prescription had not been established, but that it had been established by estoppel. The landowners appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed judgment.
Did appellee’s acquire the right to use the roadway by estoppel?
The use of the roadway by the homeowners to get to their home from the public highway, the use of the roadway for the construction of the residence, the general improvement of the premises, and the maintenance of the roadway, all with the actual consent of the landowners or at least with their tacit approval, clearly established that the license to use the subject roadway could not have been revoked.