Contact Survey Section
Dept. of Natural Resources
Div. of Mining, Land & Water
550 W 7th Ave Suite 650
Anchorage, AK 99501-3576
Easement Vacation & Replats
The Easement Vacation Unit is the initial point of contact for applying to vacate an easement managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Information regarding petitioning to replat existing lot lines in the Unorganized Borough is included here because it is handled under the same process and regulations as easement vacations.
DNR approval is required for full or partial vacation of:
- Section-Line Easements of any width
- RS 2477 Rights-of-Way
- Easements “To and Along Public Water” created per AS 38.05.127
- Alaska Division of Lands (ADL) Right-of-Way
- Any other easements reserved and managed by DNR
In the Unorganized Borough all of the above plus the following require DNR approval:
- Vacation of Platted Right-of-Way dedicated to Public Use
- Vacation of Public Access Easements
- Replats plus any combination of the above
The vacation of section-line easements and RS 2477 rights-of-way also require the approval of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF). A petition filed with the Easement Vacation Unit will be forwarded to DOT/PF, along with copies of the required submittal. Applicants are not required to petition DOT/PF directly. The Easement Vacation Unit will also solicit review comments directly from other state agencies.
The supporting materials required along with the petition and application fee differ according to the location and type of action requested. Three different situations apply:
- 1. Easement Vacations Within a Local Platting Authority
- 2. Easement Vacations in the Unorganized Borough
- 3. Replats in the Unorganized Borough
1. Easement Vacations Within a Local Platting Authority
The instructions below are the process for vacating DNR-managed easements lying within the jurisdiction of a local platting authority.
Local platting authority is granted to organized boroughs and incorporated cities and municipalities. If your property lies within a incorporated city or borough, you should contact the Easement Vacation Unit of DNR and the appropriate platting authority office to determine whether or not they are exercising their platting authority. If you are unsure how to contact the local platting authority, the Division of Community and Regional Affairs maintains an online Community Database that we have found to be helpful.
2. Easement Vacations in the Unorganized Borough
In the unorganized borough, outside local platting authorities, the DNR is the platting authority, in accordance with AS 40.15. Within the Unorganized Borough, the vacation or alteration of any public easement or right-of-way of record is a vacation subject to the requirements of AS 29.40.120-.150, AS 40.15.300(e), and all 11 AAC 51.065
3. Replats in the Unorganized Borough
Within the Unorganized Borough, if new subdivision lotting overlaps, or in any way alters platted lot lines, it is a replat subject to the requirements of AS 29.40.120-.150 and AS 40.15.300(e). Protracted lot lines, depicted as dashed lines, on GLO or BLM rectangular survey plats approved by the federal government are lot lines of record and subject to the same regulations if replatted.
Downloads useful for drafting:
AS 29.40.120 - 150
Sec. 29.40.120 — Alteration or replat petition
A recorded plat may not be altered or replatted except by the platting authority on petition of the state, the borough, a public utility, or the owners of a majority of the land affected by the alteration or replat. A platted street may not be vacated, except on petition of the state, the borough, a public utility, or owners of a majority of the land fronting the part of the street sought to be vacated. The petition shall be filed with the platting authority and shall be accompanied by a copy of the existing plat showing the proposed alteration or replat.
Sec. 29.40.130 — Notice of hearing
The platting authority shall fix a time for a hearing on an alteration or replat petition that may not be more than 60 days after the petition is filed. Notice shall be published by the platting authority stating when and by whom the petition was filed, its purpose, and the time and place of the hearing. The notice must generally describe the alteration or replat sought. The platting authority shall also mail a copy of the notice to each affected property owner who did not sign the petition.
Sec. 29.40.140 — Hearing and determination
(a) The platting authority shall consider the alteration or replat petition at a hearing and make its decision on the merits of the proposal.
(b) Vacation of a city street may not be made without the consent of the council. Vacation of a street in the borough area outside all cities may not be made without the consent of the assembly. The governing body shall have 30 days from the decision of the platting authority in which to veto a vacation of a street. If no veto is received by the platting authority within the 30-day period, consent is considered to have been given to the vacation.
Sec. 29.40.150 — Recording
If the alteration or replat is approved, the revised plat shall be acknowledged, filed, and recorded in accordance with AS 40.15.010 - 40.15.020.
(e) A recorded plat may not be altered or replatted except on petition of the state, a municipality, a public utility, or the owner of a majority of the land affected by the proposed alteration or replat. The petition shall be filed with the commissioner and shall be accompanied by a copy of the existing plat showing the proposed alteration or replat. The provisions of AS 29.40.130 and 29.40.140(a) apply to an alteration or replat submitted under this subsection. The provisions of (d) of this section do not apply to an alteration or replat petition, but the commissioner shall state in writing reasons for disapproval of the petition.