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Easement by Common Scheme

The Common Scheme Doctrine is well established in most states as a legitimate basis for restrictive covenants, but a common plan or neighborhood scheme can also be the basis for an implied easement. The Massachusetts decision Alexander v. Juchno: 21 LCR 621 (2013) describes the rationale for the recognition of easement by common scheme: "An easement by common scheme is simply a form of implied easement. It begins with the principle that the mere recording of a plan which refers to a street or way does not, without more, convey any rights; there must be some intent to create an easement over the street or way. ... When a conveyance references a plan, however, the plan can help determine the rights the grantor intended to convey."

This concept has been recognized in other states, including (but not limited to) New Jersey and South Carolina.


A portion of the original 1899 map of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland.

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