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Old 10/28/10, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Frozen in Michigan
Posts: 4,961
putting a gate up/ issue with easement?

Last night I asked my husband about putting a gate up on our driveway. Our driveway is about 300-315 feet long. I would really like to have a gate on our driveway. In the past we have had mexicans come up our driveway wanting to know if we had coolers to sell... (they were on my porch drying after a camping trip) or they wanted to know if we had any tires or engines to sell or this or that... been a problem in the past... Or I am cleaning the house and look up to find a Kirby Salesmen at my door and im not exactly dressed and hadn't heard him drive up. We have a dog but she doesn't always warn us because she might be sleeping in the wood shed and doesn't hear anyone herself. I thought of getting a second dog but that would just be another mouth to feed..

SO... I brought up the idea to my husband for a gate for the driveway. I know people can cut locks off gates if they really want to get in but it would at least stop the majority of people from coming up the driveway. (hopefully that includes mormons and jehovahs witnesses too)

So this is what my question is about- we have an easement that runs along the driveway for the utility company. In the 9 years we have been here no one has ever came in our driveway that i am aware of from telephone or electric companies. If we put a gate up, they could still walk along the easement but just couldn't get their truck up the driveway. I would be starting my gate at the first power pole and I only have one other pole closer to the house. In order to put up a gate- do I have to give the utility company a key or can i avoid that because I live here on the premises? I am almost always home as I am a SAHM with homeschooled kids. So if someone does come from a company i can let them in. I am just tired of the people with no business coming up my driveway. Or in the rare event we go camping for the weekend I want to prevent people from coming up and being nosey...

so... is there any issue with putting up a gate while having an easement?
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Old 10/28/10, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 317
You need to ask the utility company.
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Old 10/28/10, 10:55 AM
SteveD(TX)'s Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 5,373
If you lock the gate, the utility co. will typically double lock the gate with their own lock for access. This is pretty common in rural areas.
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Old 10/28/10, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: tn
Posts: 95
sounds like the poles up your drive are for the service drop to you house. Put up your gate and not worry about it. How will the meter readers access the meter to read though?
I would not put anything less than a 12' gate. It sucks having to open and close a gate when pouring the rain though, and in your case clearing the snow before you can open it to get out.
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Old 10/28/10, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Frozen in Michigan
Posts: 4,961
yes its just the lines for our house

meter is read automatically with fancy new machines they installed last year
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Old 10/28/10, 11:28 AM
7thswan's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: michigan
Posts: 23,896
Call the utility co and just give them your phone # and ask them to call when they want to come thru the gate, you will let them in. Our Elec. meter man calls each time he wants to check the meter, we have 3 rotties and the man will not even leave his car until I call them in from their fenced yard.
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Old 10/28/10, 11:35 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: N.E.Mississippi
Posts: 110
My gate is double locked, the meter is still read the old way, and the meter reader furnished his lock. It would probably depend on the attitude of who you talk to at the electric company...they might say that calling is not an option.

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Old 10/28/10, 11:42 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 161
First answer was correct. Just call the utilities and tell them what you are up to. No problem with them at all around here. They have a bucket full of keyed alike locks and they just double lock the chain. No problems, no hard feelings.
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Old 10/28/10, 11:50 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone 9b
Posts: 4,898
I love, love, love having a gate at the road-end of my drive. It has saved me countless encounters with complete strangers that feel they have the right to access of me and mine.

However, make sure you get a good lock. I have never had anyone cut our lock, but before I bought it we just used a carabiner clip for easy entry and everyone and their brother interpreted that to mean "Come on in!" in spite of NO TRESPASSING signs posted on the gate and along the driveway.
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Old 10/28/10, 11:54 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NE Ohio
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Originally Posted by LittleRedHen View Post
yes its just the lines for our house

meter is read automatically with fancy new machines they installed last year
If you do not have a meter reader coming on your property then go for it!

My neighbor put up a gate on his LONG driveway and did not even tell the utility company. The first time the meter reader came we were out in our back yard (neighbor lives way back in behind me) and the meter reader started to pull out and I flagged him down and told him it was more than likely unlocked. He tried the gate and sure enough it was. That was a few years ago. Now they hardly even close the gate. It is about 1/3 of the way up their drive, at the backside of my property line. They originally started to fence it in for their horses. They just have not finished it yet.
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Old 10/28/10, 01:13 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: EastTN: Former State of Franklin
Posts: 5,374
Put the gate up, don't bother seeking permission from the utility company. IF they ever do have to come back in, they'll call.

We have gates ( 2x10' ) with electric opener ( ONLY way to go IMHO....more handy than a garage door opener ) and the meter reader has the opener code ( keypad at the gate )....but any time electric company maintenance workers need up here, they apparently don't talk to the meter reader, so they call. It's not a big deal.

And a gate will cut out about 99% of the "tourists", salesmen, religious nuts, and so on. Make it standard practice to keep it closed ALL the time whether you are home or not so someone casing your place won't be able to see a pattern in your comings and goings.

Almost EVERY one should have a gate, would cut out about 80-90% of home thefts. IF crooks can't drive up to your house, knock to see if you're home, then smash/grab, they will move on to easier pickings were they CAN do that.

Neighbor of mine down the road just got hit...lives maybe 150-200' off the road, but house is very visible. They pulled in the drive, then into the grass around the back of the house, ( after knocking on the front door no doubt with some excuse in case somebody WAS home ), kicked in the back door, and cleaned him out....electronics, guns, wife's jewelery, etc.

Only time I leave mine open is if I know company is coming ( everybody knows to call ahead ) or I'm expecting a UPS/FedEx. ( I track them online to know what day they will be here. )
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Old 10/28/10, 01:32 PM
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Location: Southern Taxifornia
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We have a power and telephone company easement through our ranch. We keep the gate locked. There is our lock, the electric company lock, and telephone company lock all hooked through each other like links of a chain. If the power company needs in, they unlock their lock and they can enter.

Call the utilities, and ask them to send you a lock for your gate, and hook them through each other like I described.

I love having a locked gate. My next step (as we can afford it)will be to have a gate opener with remote control, and a key pad at the gate. I will assign a unique code to the power company and another unique code to the phone company, so I will know who is entering and what code they use. Something along these lines.
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Last edited by Common Tator; 10/28/10 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 10/28/10, 04:16 PM
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Location: far north Idaho
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What will you do if the utility worker you have to let in is a Mexican Jehova's Witness?
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Old 10/28/10, 05:19 PM
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Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Originally Posted by LisaInN.Idaho View Post
What will you do if the utility worker you have to let in is a Mexican Jehova's Witness?
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Old 10/28/10, 06:00 PM
Join Date: May 2002
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Originally Posted by LisaInN.Idaho View Post
What will you do if the utility worker you have to let in is a Mexican Jehova's Witness?
THAT has got to be the funniest post I've read in a long time.
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Old 10/28/10, 06:05 PM
Join Date: May 2002
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Originally Posted by LisaInN.Idaho View Post
What will you do if the utility worker you have to let in is a Mexican Jehova's Witness?

And the Mormons. Don't forget the Mormans!
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Old 10/28/10, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western North Carolina
Posts: 3,117
Around here we don't have to ask the Utility Company nor do we give them a key to any Gate. We just put up the Gate and then if Utility needs on the Easement, they just cut a link in the chain, insert their own Lock and then hook it back up. Only they can get in and any Lock I use is still good.

I love my Gates too. We have Gates with Locks on most but on two Gates (used by others with property along one very long driveway) we just have the Gates and we all agreed to keep them closed. So far, only one time we caught someone going through the Gate anyway. Good luck
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Old 10/28/10, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bartow County, GA
Posts: 7,675
I'd be courteous & call. As others have said, they'll double lock it. That's the way mine is.

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Old 10/28/10, 08:32 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 17,225
Originally Posted by Ardie/WI View Post
And the Mormons. Don't forget the Mormans!
.......... who sells vacuum cleaners on the side.
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Old 10/29/10, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 8,101
This thread gave me a chuckle.

A utility easement with the lines totally crossing your proprty, you need to deal with allowing the utility to maintain their poles, trim greenery, allow electrity to flow to others - you would need to work it out with the utiliy company, what their policy is on fences - they would have a minimum size of gate (to fit their stuff through), and their lock most likely.

Since this just accesses your own property and they don't do meter readings, it's a residential access and if you put up the gate no one is likely to care aat all. if your lines get tangled in trees or something breaks & you lose power & they can't get in, you are the only one your gate is hurting, so it's a pretty small issue.

I'd be temped to just put the gate up.

It's probably proper to discuss it with the utility first, and get their input. That would be the proper way to do it.

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