City of San Antonio v. Olivares – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

City of San Antonio v. Olivares, 505 S.W.2d 526, 530 (Tex. 1974) concerned an alleyway dedicated for public use that the City closed to accommodate improvements constructed by a bank over the objections of a hotel operator who complained that the closure impaired his access to a particular street. Olivares, 505 S.W.2d at 527-28.

The hotel operator's lease referred to a map that showed the closed alleyway to have been a public street since the 1800's. Id. at 529-30.

The Court noted that "This Court has consistently held that the conveyance of land by reference to a map or plat, upon which lots and streets are laid out, results in the purchaser or one holding under him, acquiring by implication a private easement in the alleys or streets shown on the plat." Id. at 530.

The court recognized that abutting property owners have private rights in existing streets and alleys in addition to those rights held in common with the general public. Id.

Because a newly dedicated alley provided access to a different public street, however, the court decided that the hotel operator's complaint concerned "circuity of travel, not access" and held as a matter of law that access to the hotel was not materially and substantially impaired by the closing of the public alleyway. Id.