AUBURN — Councilors found a way to settle two Howe Street neighbors' 27-year-old dispute over the 42-foot-wide lot that separates them.
Councilors agreed to divide a paper street — a planned road that had never been built — at 127 Howe St. between its northern and southern neighbors. Both will pay the city $1 for their share.
"Both parties agreed," City Manager Clinton Deschene said. "We have a buy-in from everyone, and that's why the Council said 'yes.' There was nothing to discuss."
At one time the lot at 127 Howe St. was meant to be a street, Milton Street, connecting Howe and Horton streets. Milton Street was never built.
Donald Aube claimed to have purchased the quarter-acre lot, just north of his 123 Howe St. home, in 1985 and used it to build a septic system for his house. But Donald Dean, at 133 Howe St., claimed he had a right to the lot as well and sued Aube.
A 1993 Superior Court decision ruled that neither neighbor had clear claim to the parcel. The city eventually filed a tax lien on the land and put it up for sale in 1998, but wasn't able to close a deal.
City officials began working to broker a deal to split the land in half between the neighbors in 2010.
According to the current deal, land will be divided along the septic system line.
View Paper Street dispute in a larger map