Nevada Highways; Roads; Bridges; Parks; Outdoor Recreation

Sec. § 405.195
Petition to open, reopen, close, relocate or abandon road; hearings and orders by board of county commissioners regarding petition; legal actions authorized.


Five or more residents of this state may petition any board of county commissioners to open, reopen, close, relocate or abandon a public road within the county. The petition must be accompanied by proof of the petitioners’ residency and adequate maps and documentation to justify a hearing on the petition. Upon receipt of such a petition and the required documentation, the board of county commissioners shall set a date to conduct a public hearing on the petition. The date selected must not be earlier than 30 days, nor later than 45 days, after the petition is submitted. In addition to any other notice required by law or ordinance, the board shall cause notice of the time, date and location of the hearing to be published at least once each week for 2 successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.


Upon conclusion of the public hearing, the board shall determine whether the road in question has acquired the status of a public road because:


Construction of the improvement occurred while the land was unappropriated, unreserved public land;


The improvement was constructed by mechanical means which made the physical change to the natural area necessary for the customary or usual passage of traffic; and


The right-of-way was:


Accepted by the state or local government for dedication as a road for public use and thereafter the road was used by the public at large; or


Accepted by use as access to a mining claim or other privately owned property.


If the board concludes that the road is a public road, the board may order the public road to be opened, reopened, closed, relocated or abandoned, for all or part of the year. The board’s decision must be based on specific findings, including, but not limited to:


The resulting benefit to the general public;


Whether any significant impairment of the environment or natural resources will result; and


Whether the decision will result in a significant reduction in the value of public or private property.
Ê The order of the board must be reduced to writing, including a statement of any actions which must be taken to effectuate the decision and the person to whom each such action has been assigned. If possible, the order must be signed by any person who has agreed to take a specific action to effectuate the board’s decision. The lack of such a signature does not invalidate the order.


If the order of the board is to close or abandon a public road, the board shall, upon the petition of five or more residents of the State, designate and provide an alternate route serving the same area. The closure or abandonment of a public road by the board does not prohibit or restrict the use of that road by a governmental agency or a public utility regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada for the maintenance, construction or operation of a facility of the agency or utility.


Any person or governmental agency may bring and maintain an action in the district court of the county in which the public road lies to prevent any person, including a public agency, from violating an order issued pursuant to subsection 3.


The Attorney General may, pursuant to this section or as provided in NRS 405.204, bring and maintain an action in any court or before any federal agency if an agency or instrumentality of the Federal Government denies the use of a public road located on public land in this state.


Nothing in this section affects the right of the Department of Transportation to regulate freeways or highways in this state.

Last accessed
Feb. 5, 2021