Dedication – by Acts

Official acceptance [of a dedication] may consist in any positive conduct of the proper public officers evincing their consent on behalf of the public. Western Fertilizer and Cordage Co. v. City of Alliance, 244 Neb. 95, 504 N.W.2d 808 (1993); Village of Maxwell v. Booth, 161 Neb. 300, 306, 73 N.W.2d 177, 182 (1955) (quoting 16 Am.Jur. Dedication Sec. 33 (1938)). Thus, passage of an ordinance or resolution may be sufficient to indicate acceptance even when actual control over the property is not exercised at that time. However, more recent cases have indicated that something more may be required to show acceptance of a dedication. Western Fertilizer and Cordage Co. v. City of Alliance, 244 Neb. 95, 504 N.W.2d 808 (1993); Village of Maxwell v. Booth, 161 Neb. 300, 306, 73 N.W.2d 177, 182 (1955). See also Banner County v. Young, 184 Neb. 546, 552, 169 N.W.2d 280, 284 (1969); Aro Inv. Co. v. City of Omaha, 179 Neb. 569, 575, 139 N.W.2d 349, 352 (1966) (although no formal declaration is necessary, there is no public use until such time as there is “use or some other act” indicating the city’s acceptance of the dedication and intent to use the dedicated land).

In Western Fertilizer and Cordage Co. v. City of Alliance, 244 Neb. 95, 504 N.W.2d 808 (1993), the City passed ordinances regarding the dedications, apparently published those ordinances, and began construction of the improvements pursuant to the ordinances. However, the record is silent as to when actual construction began or was completed. Thus, the court was unable to determine when the City exercised physical control over the property. The court stated, “the various dedications and ordinances apply to different parts of the property in question and provide the City with easements for a variety of purposes.” The court held that since some of the dedications and ordinances occurred more than 10 years before the action was filed, even if passage of the ordinances established the City’s dominion over the land, the statute of limitations had run on some portions of the action. However, some of the later dedications and ordinances may also have effected a taking and may not be time-barred. Thus, the date of any taking is a factual question which should have been determined by the trial court. See alsoVillage of Maxwell v. Booth, 161 Neb. 300, 306, 73 N.W.2d 177, 182 (1955).