Easement on property?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by slimecoat, May 22, 2005.

  1. slimecoat

    slimecoat Member

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    The power company sent me a letter stating that they want to discuss an easement on my property. I think that it's something about a power line. What should I do? I don’t want a power line on my land. They can do that somewhere else. How do you think I should handle this?

    Thanks
     
  2. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you have a case of the NIMBYs... "Not In My Back Yard". Of course you don't want a power line on your land, nobody does, but power lines have to run somewhere. Do they already have an easement or are they trying to get one? If they already have an easement, I don't think theres anything you can do to keep them from building whatever they have in mind. If they don't, you can fight it, but I believe a power line falls under emninent domain, and they could just get the local gov't to grant them the easement anyway. I'm just speaking from what I've heard, don't have any first hand experience with these things. Hopefully someone else will chime in and give you some better info. At any rate, though, get in touch with them and see what they have in mind. Might be something minor.
     

  3. Donovan K

    Donovan K Well-Known Member

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    If you have access to your deed, get it out. It is very likely there is already a power company easement recorded there. They may be notifying you that they are intending to use it or modify it.

    If there is no easement and they want one, you can fight it legally, but you are at a huge disadvantage. If the a power company needs to cross your land, chances are it is close to a done deal. You may wish to contact a lawyer but this could get very expensive and you may still lose. Find out what the power company wants first. Ask your neighbors if they have been contacted as well and what they know about any plans to run new power lines your way or whatever they have planned.

    It could be that all the public hearings and such that were needed for a new power line route have already happened. Maybe it has not. Maybe they are not needed for a smaller project. Whichever way, it may be too for you to file your objections to stop the project, if there was even an opportunity.

    Some will tell you to have a lawyer present when you meet with the power company officials, but I think if you go to the meeting and hear what they have to say first AND sign nothing, agree to nothing, you are safe until you can talk to a lawyer if you really need to. It may be what they want to talk about is nothing that needs a lawyer and you may cost yourself unncessarily.

    Go to the meeting without a chip on your shoulder and ready to listen to what they tell you. Getting angry or behaving foolishly and emotionally will not help you. It is business and treat it as such.

    Get past the first meeting with a clear understanding of what they want and how they intend to proceed so you can be armed with facts if you decide to resist. Fight the urge to yell, scream, threaten, etc. I have seen a few of these type reactions from landowners when it came to cases of eminant domain (a real nasty word to the tinfoil hat foks) affecting their homes. I had sympathy for them but knew that they were not helping themselves or their case. Treat this professionally and you will be treated the same in return.

    I am sure you will get some horror stories posted here but don't panic or get discouraged.

    Good luck

    Donovan
     
  4. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

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    Someone I know had the county take a corner of his land, a small piece, and he got a lot of money out of the deal. I'm with you, I wouldn't want to have a power line going through my land either, but don't lose hope, you might not be too unhappy with the result.
     
  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    As Donovan pointed out, the first thing you need to do is check your titlework to see if they already have an easement or if they are asking for one.

    If they already do have an easement the best you can hope for is to have them work with you as to the placement. There was an easement for a gas (Collection) pipeline across our property when we bought it. The folks from Northcoast energy were pretty easy to work with and adjusted the path of the pipeline to accomodate me (I wanted it to run neat a fenceline and underneath a path along the edge of one of our fields - makes it easier for both parties).

    The other question is whether it is for local utility (access to other adjacent properties) or a large transmission line. We have a large transmission line that cuts across the back corner of our property (it was there when we bought it). The towers are a couple hundred feet high and it really doesn't bother us much. The hawks like to sit on top of the tower and then swoop down on prey. Now that same line goes right by the house of some folks we know down the road. I wouldn't want to live with that.

    If it is local transmission lines I would probably fight it if possible. On the other hand, a lot of rural electric companies make an easment for adjacent properties a condition of providing service.

    The bottom line is that you need to pick your battles.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike
     
  6. slimecoat

    slimecoat Member

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    Thanks for all your replies. This really sucks because this new transmission line is to provide power for future housing developments. Do you know what that means? Endless rows of gated, zero lot line, 250 thousand dollar, particle board houses. No more shooting the gun in the back lot. No more freedom. Last year God blessed us with 3 hurricanes and it didn’t even phase the great invasion! Really sucks!
     
  7. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    We were asked by a Power company to grant an easement - they sent a dollar in cash in the letter.
    We sent them their money back in a check for $1.00. (We already had an easement for them and this new one was going to block our only road frontage - enough is enough.) We included a polite letter that said no and explained our rationale.
    Never heard from them again.

    One of the reasons we did not want the easement was the obnoxious wording of what they wanted us to sign. They expected us to ask permission for anything we wanted to do near the easement forever.
    Perhaps if they are hellbent to fight you to get in, you could at least limit what they want - like make it a lease instead of an easement, with occasional payments due. That kind of thing.
     
  8. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Thats why you should always buy as much land as you can afford to exercise the rights you choose (like sighting in a weapon). Otherwise, live with the fact that someone can/will build right on top of you.

    Hang in there and pay attention to zoning regulations at your local planning commission or county commission meetings. Because you might still retain your zoning status while the new developments have their rules and regulations. They might have to adapt to your chickens for a while any way. If you ever wanted livestock, get some now so that it can be grandfathered in as a farm.

    We hated not owning our mineral rights and the gas company coming in and putting a well in. But 8 years later and the free gas is pretty neat, the site is grown over and the well tender leaves us alone, we almost never see his monthly visits. It can work out despite your fears.