paper road
n. An undeveloped road that exists only on subdivision blueprints or urban planning maps.

Example Citations:
Driven by soaring land values, developers and property owners are rushing to develop lots that until recently were ignored because they are too rocky, too wet, too small. Many were on ‘paper roads’ left over from unfinished subdivisions.
—Kerry Drohan, “Developers Line Up to Adopt ‘Orphan’ House Lots,” The Boston Globe, January 16, 2000

Paris, a long-time service stations valuer, says you must research prospective areas to fulfill these core facets and ensure that a service station is the best use for the site.

Paper roads,” he says, “are those on road department and council maps and have been there 30 years and won’t happen.
—Paul Coombes, ” Oil is well; Property,“ Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), September 22, 1999

Earliest Citation:
In the past, he said, housing and commercial developments routinely were approved by the county based on supporting road projects that were expected to be built but existed only on paper....

To counter the adverse effects of paper roads, proposed developments today can’t win approval unless at least 50 percent of the funding for road improvements has already been allocated.
—Arthur S. Brisbane, “Upcounty Montgomery; Unfulfilled Promises Thwart Residents,” The Washington Post, November 23, 1984

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