For the time being, Lovers' Lane in Provo will remain a through street.
Fourth District Judge Ray M. Harding listened to arguments Friday concerning a section of the gravel road. His preliminary ruling Tuesday was that "there is an easement for public use based on historical and current use of "Lovers' Lane."George and Leslie Nelson recently purchased two plots of land bisected by Lovers' Lane in the Canyon Cove subdivision. They placed open gates on Lovers' Lane at both ends of their property, prompting some owners of property along the lane to voice concerns about access.
The lane runs from University Avenue at about 4200 North to 3700 North. However, there is no access to Lovers' Lane from 3700 North. When 3700 North was improved, Lovers' Lane was rerouted up to 3860 West.
Property owners objecting to the gates filed a complaint against the Nelsons and requested the court prevent the closure of the road. Although the owners have access to their property, they argue the road must be a through road because the lane is too narrow to turn around on. The road is also used for recreational purposes.
George Nelson said his position has always been that he would like to work out the problem with his neighbors. "I want to build my home there. I want to work it out with my neighbors. If I have to, I will go to court over it."
Provo Ombudsman Sally Harding said, "As far as the city is concerned, it is prescriptive easement."
Harding explained that a prescriptive easement is owned by the property owners and not the city. Because Provo does not consider Lovers' Lane a city road, the conflict over the lane is a civil matter.
"We've not maintained Lovers' Lane," said Provo Streets Maintenance Manager Tom Manzanares. He said it is not a dedicated street.
Bruce Birch, in the City Engineering Department said that Provo did contract to reroute Lovers' Lane when 3700 North was improved but before and after that time the city has done nothing to maintain the lane.