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  #1  
Old 03/13/08, 08:09 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Louisiana
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Property with a pipeline?

I recently bought an acre of land planning to build a small house there. 4 acres on the other side of town came available recently at 5K an acre, which makes the whole 4 acres less than what my 1 cost.

Only issue is there is a pipeline though the property. I just want a small, 2 bedroom house, so even with a few barns I can dodge it, but with a big house, maybe not, but that isn't a concern. I can simply make that area pasture.

Any other reason not to own land with a pipeline? I figure I'd keep all structures within 50 feet of it.

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  #2  
Old 03/13/08, 08:21 PM
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north central wv
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Check out the agreement with the company that has the pipeline or ask the owner for a copy of the agreement. If it suits you go for it. Ours had a 6 inch main gas line across it but they had not maintained it so the agreement was null and void as stated in the original contract which they signed in 1925 and paid $25 for the right away. Well after trying to get them to fix a leak for 6 months I told them to either move said line or give me permission to repair the leak and use what gas was being lost. They chose to move the line to across the road as it had many leaks and was a rusty mess. Now the are in trouble with the man across the road as his place was empty when the put in said line and did not get a right away. I think he may get a new truck for what he gets for a settlement. Sam

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  #3  
Old 03/13/08, 09:34 PM
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Location: South Central Michigan
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Check it out closely. I am not sure you can build that close. I have one running through my 40 acres and having it to do over again I would not have bought it. That is a lot of land to pay taxes on that I can't use as I wish. Plus they either take the fences down to maintain it and do a lousy job of putting them back up or they go through my yard with that nasty machine that leave big ruts and tears down the banks of the stream.

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  #4  
Old 03/13/08, 10:24 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reauxman View Post
Any other reason not to own land with a pipeline? I figure I'd keep all structures within 50 feet of it.
It's certainly doable, BUT!

You need to readjust your mindset on this. The setback & easement width is going to be stated on your deed, and you had better do your research ^ _KNOW_ how close to the pipeline you can build, not just guess 50 feet is ok....

Sometimes a shed is one distance, a dwelling is a bigger distance.

Not uncommon to be 100 feet, or even more from the centerline. This can make a 200' strip down the property.

You need to _know_ this, not guess about it.

Research.

--->Paul
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  #5  
Old 03/13/08, 10:51 PM
 
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The ones that go thru this area

There are three of them 36 inches in diameter they contain gas at high pressure. Personally I would not live with in a mile of them. If they blow you do not want to be there. That is the reason for the cheap price. Over the years I have had several parcels offered to me at a great price because of the gas lines, in my book no way.

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  #6  
Old 03/14/08, 05:01 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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As others have said, check the language of the easement and make a decision then.

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  #7  
Old 03/14/08, 06:17 AM
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There are literally millions of miles of gas pipelines in the US. How many do you hear about blowing up? There really is no safety issue unless you are playing around with a backhoe or something.

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  #8  
Old 03/14/08, 08:38 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Georgia
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I had an easement for electrical lines across the back of the property we owned. I was okay with it because they had an access road running under the lines that they could use to get to their stuff - there was no need for them to go outside the easement. I measured off the 100' from the centerline and put up an ornamental fence (18" high"). It was more for my edification than theirs. I tilled the garden right up to 3' from that little fence. I never had any problems. They would even mow right up to my little fence twice a year.

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  #9  
Old 03/14/08, 08:47 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Louisiana
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I would still be able to have a pasture above the lines, right? So long as thats fine, I don't see a problem.

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  #10  
Old 03/14/08, 08:54 AM
north central Texas
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer0101 View Post
There are literally millions of miles of gas pipelines in the US. How many do you hear about blowing up? There really is no safety issue unless you are playing around with a backhoe or something.
It is certain that you are not from my area. They have pipeline fires and blow outs all the time. They blew up a house here that had no natural gas used in the house, but a line leak came into the house through a sewer line. The house blew up and killed both the people that lived there. The energy companies play down fires etc. Bad for business. In Fort Worth they have a large gas line that runs under a grade school. Politicians are always for sale to approve anything.

I would not touch the subject property if they were giving it away. A lot of the easements are written so that the property owner is liable for any pollution or any leaks, not the company who owns the pipeline.

Bob
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  #11  
Old 03/14/08, 09:08 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: MN
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I would call the company directly and see if you can get a copy of the agreement. Then I would take it to an good real estate attorney and have him or her explain it to you and answer your questions. Real estate law can vary state to state so what I can or can't do in MN might not be the same in LA. If you do most of the foot work yourself (ie: get a copy of the agreement yourself and any other supporting documents) then it probably won't be as expensive. We are in the middle of buying a 35 acre piece of land that will have a new pipeline through it in the next 2 - 3 years and I definately am going to have an attorney review all the paperwork for me.

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  #12  
Old 03/14/08, 09:14 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: SE Washington
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You can do what you want over the easement, except put up a building. All you would lose is what was planted there and then they have to pay you for damages.

Bob

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  #13  
Old 03/14/08, 10:39 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: just west of Houston Texas
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A neighbor here had a contractor motor grade through his pipeline. The flames could be seen easily 20 miles away. I am sure quite a bit further as well. We were 20 miles away and know they could be seen that far. Our house is probably 1300 feet from the fire. It melted the paint on the garage doors but that was about it. I kind of agree with Wanderer. 4 acres is a lot more than 1 acre. More than likely, there are greater hazards near both properties.

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  #14  
Old 03/14/08, 01:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by unioncreek View Post
You can do what you want over the easement, except put up a building. All you would lose is what was planted there and then they have to pay you for damages.
That may or may not be true. That's why they need to see the actual easement to see what was actually written. Easements can be remarkably draconian.
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  #15  
Old 03/14/08, 01:33 PM
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north central wv
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Here if you dig and hit a line or wire not only are you liable for any damage done but you are subject to a fine as well. You are to call 48 hours before digging and they come out and mark where any lines are. I don't know who it is you call but the number is in the phone book and on signs every where. When I say dig it is as in ditch, septic, as with heavy equipment. Sam

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  #16  
Old 03/14/08, 03:46 PM
 
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Location: just west of Houston Texas
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tamsam, I think that is law everywhere. Our incident had more to do with a big difference in "supposed" depth of pipeline and "actual" depth. Be assured there was a major investigation.

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  #17  
Old 03/14/08, 04:09 PM
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Location: Carthage, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VALENT View Post
A neighbor here had a contractor motor grade through his pipeline. The flames could be seen easily 20 miles away. I am sure quite a bit further as well. We were 20 miles away and know they could be seen that far. Our house is probably 1300 feet from the fire. It melted the paint on the garage doors but that was about it. I kind of agree with Wanderer. 4 acres is a lot more than 1 acre. More than likely, there are greater hazards near both properties.
Sounds like gene pool cleansing...

________________________________

If you don't want to live within a mile of a pipeline, in a lot of Texas and Louisiana, you're going to be out of luck.

I wouldn't worry about land with pipelines... as long as the pipelines were where I wanted pastures.

I've got several, and in 50 years of operation, they've never exploded.

'course, I've never got a backhoe, trackhoe or dozer and tried to dig one up, either. I've got electric lines on my place, too.... I try and respect electricity, also. Just because the pipelines out of sight, doesn't mean you shouldn't respect it, too.

What's the going price for land in your part of Louisiana?
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  #18  
Old 03/14/08, 04:16 PM
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Depends. All pipelines and the accompanying easements are NOT created equal. Get a copy of the instrument (typically an easement) that conveyed the area to the company originally, plus any modifications that might have occurred since. Take them to a title co. attorney to get his opinion of your rights if they are not clear. Beware of "blanket easements" that essentially gives them the right to move the pipeline wherever they want on your land. Then make your decision.

Also, the impact of the pipeline on the value will depend on what is in the pipeline itself. I have an old low pressure crude oil pipeline running across my land. The placement of the pipeline and the fact that it'll never be moved (more than likely), and the fact that low pressure crude is typically very low impact and low risk, means that it really didn't impact the property value. But a natural gas line or volatile fuel line could have a major impact. Check everything out and talk to as many local experts as you can.

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  #19  
Old 03/15/08, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveD(TX) View Post
Depends. All pipelines and the accompanying easements are NOT created equal. Get a copy of the instrument (typically an easement) that conveyed the area to the company originally, plus any modifications that might have occurred since. Take them to a title co. attorney to get his opinion of your rights if they are not clear. Beware of "blanket easements" that essentially gives them the right to move the pipeline wherever they want on your land. Then make your decision.

Also, the impact of the pipeline on the value will depend on what is in the pipeline itself. I have an old low pressure crude oil pipeline running across my land. The placement of the pipeline and the fact that it'll never be moved (more than likely), and the fact that low pressure crude is typically very low impact and low risk, means that it really didn't impact the property value. But a natural gas line or volatile fuel line could have a major impact. Check everything out and talk to as many local experts as you can.
Great advice!! Research, research, RESEARCH, and do it locally. My pipeline agreement and joe blows in the next state over can be miles and miles apart.
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  #20  
Old 03/15/08, 05:28 PM
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One issue not mentioned is that the owner of the right of way will either keep it clear or hire a third party to do it. I've had two dustups with folks over that. The last time I didn't know they sprayed pesticide until I spotted the tractor mounted spray rig on the other side of the creek. The right of way had already been sprayed.

We have three or four pipelines crossing the place. All with different owners.Check the original agreement to see where the access points are. At least one of the lines on our place has no legal access from other parts of our property. That means each time they need access to the line they have to come, hat in hand, and get our permission.

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  #21  
Old 03/16/08, 06:25 AM
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We have a pipeline in our back field, maybe 250 yards from the house. The pipeline runs underneath the cleared field we cut for hay. I would check with the company for guidelines.

Just because there is a line there, doesn't mean you can't use the property for something. Most people in my area just use it for hay or corn---which is allowed as the pipe is buried well below plowing depth---because sometimes the company will send someone out to check the line and this means it must be accessible to them. Obviously this means no big trees growing there, generally speaking.....ALTHOUGH parts of our line does have small trees on it. I believe they do clearcut occasionally along its path in those bushy areas. Haven't seen it done here in 3 years though---who knows how many years before that it was done.

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  #22  
Old 03/16/08, 08:52 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Northern Missouri
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Something that hasn't been mentioned is the aerial reconnaissance, or rather the monthly fly-over to see if it's leaking.
An oil pipeline runs right next to where I work. We get low fly-overs at least monthly if not more often.
Usually low enough to be a nuisance and disturbance.

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  #23  
Old 03/16/08, 09:11 AM
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I live on the pipeline which goes from Hardisty, Alberta down into the States. It only touches the corner of our property, and isn't a big deal. Our neighbors have it running through their 40 acre field.

The pipe is 2 meters down. There are regulations on this. One would have to be a complete moron with the intention of hitting it to hit it with regular equipment. 2 meters is a long way down when you're talking about tilling a field or planting a garden.

The neighbors plant as normal, run huge equipment in their fields over said pipeline, no problem. It's like it's not even there until they have to come through and dig it up for some reason -- like they're doing this year. The are placing another pipeline alongside the first. My neighbors are being compensated for the inconvenience and loss to their crop.

I agree that you need to see the paperwork before buying, and make an educated decision based on what you find out, rather than speculation; however, be aware that living on a pipeline isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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  #24  
Old 03/19/08, 12:09 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Louisiana
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Finally got hold of the guy in charge of the right of ways. 30 on one line and 50 on the other. Not bad. I only loose about 120', which would be pasture anyhow.

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