News & Announcements
Purple Ribbon

 Purple Ribbon


Talbot Goes Purple is a substance abuse awareness program that will engage our community and youth to stand up against substance abuse. It is an initiative from Talbot County Sheriff's Office and Tidewater Rotary partnered with Talbot County Schools, Mid-Shore Community Foundation and Talbot Partnership. Sheriff Gamble states, "We're in the middle of the deadliest drug epidemic in our history - and much of it starts with improper use of prescription painkillers. I believe we need to start teaching our kids these pills are basically synthetic heroin and misuse WILL lead to heroin addiction."  In 2016, overdoses leading to accidental deaths in people younger than 50 years of age in the U.S. were 59,000 to 65,000 people. Sheriff Gamble has learned that 65% of people who abuse these pills are getting them from friends and family's medicine cabinets. Do you have prescribed painkillers in your medicine cabinet? These need to be safely locked up or taken to the Sheriff's Department for disposal. Help support our community with the show of purple as in clothing, lights, outdoor ribbon decorations, etc. More information is available at



Rio Vista's


Actually, these “streets” are not paper but swaths of grass, trees, shrubs and wet areas running through Rio Vista. They are called paper streets because they are shown on the recorded Rio Vista plat but were never made into functional roads.

 Specifically, these are:


  1. Adams Street (runs behind the commercial buildings along Route 33 in the area between Lincoln and Madison); there is an open grassy area and then an area with many trees

  2. Adams Street (the portion that runs between Madison and Bush Terrace; this area is overgrown with bushes and trees

  3. Monroe Street (the extension of the paved Monroe Street between Lincoln and Cleveland); this is a wide grassy area

  4. Van Buren Street (runs between Lincoln and Cleveland and is located after Jackson but before Harrison as you drive up Lincoln from Route 33); this is a wide grassy area with some bushes

  5. Calvert Avenue (runs behind houses on Monroe, Lincoln and Riverview Terrace and was intended to connect with the paved Calvert Avenue in Bentley Hay); this is overgrown with bushes, trees and is wet most of the time


Maryland law states that when a lot described in a deed is bounded by a public or a private street but the road or street has not been accepted for public maintenance (our paper streets) and has never been conveyed to a specific owner, then the abutting landowners “own” to the center of the paper street. That ownership, however, is not absolute and is subject to the rights of others to use the street in question. As a matter of law, all property owners within Rio Vista have the right to use the unpaved paper streets.



Talbot County Circuit Court has ruled that where the paper street has not been used by automobiles for more 20 years, the right to use the street with vehicles can lapse. However, pedestrian rights to use the paper streets if exercised from time to time, do not lapse. Both non-abutting property owners (those whose lots are not next to a paper street) and abutting property owners have the right to maintain and use these areas. For example, they may trim or cut bushes that impede pedestrian use of the paper street. Abutting property owners do not have the right to block or obstruct the paper street or prevent others from using it.



Your Rio Vista Board has investigated the law regarding paper streets in our community in order to clarify the rights of all property owners in Rio Vista to enjoy these open green spaces in our development.

If you have questions, use the following e-mail:     


November 2015

Several weeks ago through the RVCA contact list we notified all members about an application for 31 commercial moorings on the Miles River in front of Bentley Hay subdivision.  Quite a few RVCA members attended a public meeting at the St. Michaels library to learn more about the proposal from the proponent, Mr. John Marrah III, who explained the project.  He also announced that he had withdrawn his permit application in response to unanticipated local landowners’ concerns.

Mr. Chris F. Spurry, of Bentley Hay, presented a fairly detailed explanation of the many public concerns.  He also had written to the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) regarding these issues.  We have provided copies of Mr. Spurry’s e-mail to MDE and the MDE's response to Mr. Spurry for your review.

Chris Spurry's email to MDE

MDE's response to Chris Spurry

Submitted by Jan Burke


I have been on the RVCA Board for eleven or twelve years. (Who keeps track of time when you are having fun?) Almost every year several properties change hands and the new owners receive a welcome letter with information about the Association, Architectural rules and the Annual Fee. I am always amazed when new owners are totally surprised that they have just bought into a Deed Restricted community.

Did they neglect to search the title?

Did they have an incompetent title company?

Did they not read their title?

I now have some insight into this situation. On December 8, 2013 my father passed away. In the process of straightening out the paperwork Pop’s name was removed from the title to our home. When I received a stack of papers to sign before a notary I found the new title. I actually read it. To my surprise, the person drawing up the new title left out the phrase “subject to the Deed and Agreement and Restrictions as set forth in the Original Deed & Agreement of Theodore Fletcher......”. The title mentions the property being located in the neighborhood of Rio Vista but does not mention anything about the existence of an association or restrictions. YEEEEKs! When I called to complain about the omission, I was told there was no mention of the restrictions in the current deed. Sure enough, the mistake was made when Mom’s name was removed after her death in 2010. I never noticed. OOOOPS!! A new title is being drafted to clear up the situation.

The omission does not affect the property or title. Every property within Rio Vista is subject to the Deed and Agreement and Restrictions because Mr. Fletcher set up the Original Deed & Agreement to be passed along from owner to owner. The Restrictions have been renewed three times. The third renewal of Restrictions is in effect until 2034.

We are all in the same Association with the same Restrictions no matter how our Titles are worded.


6" x 18" Vertical or Horizontal Mount Standard Panel

3" numbers on 2 sides, up to 5 digits


We need to find you day and night, in rain and snow, so please ensure that your driveway / lane / mail box is well marked with your house number in large white reflective numbers and your choice of background colors including: GREEN, BLUE, RED, BROWN, or BLACK. We could be coming from either direction - therefore your address must be clearly displayed on both sides of your mail box sign or pole.


For further information, please contact:

St. Michaels Fire Department

1001 S. Talbot St.
St. Michaels, MD 21663

(410) 745-9393

News & Announcements

Rio Vista Community Association

P.O. Box 254
St. Michaels, MD 21663
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