Addressing Paper Alleys

  • After 21 years of being recorded, under PA law, municipalities and the public lose the right to use these “streets” if they are not developed or maintained by the municipality. On paper (from development plans), these alleys or streets exist; hence, the terms paper alleys and streets. 
  • Paper alleys and streets can lead to deed issues and property disputes. For example, people build on what they thought was their property, but it wasn’t. This can actually cause property to be harder to sell due to resolving deed issues and property disputes.
  • The Recorder of Deeds should work with municipal leaders to proactively address paper alleys and make it a nonissue for property owners. In rural areas, this is a need that should be addressed and is why rural outreach is a necessary part of the office.