My question involves an easement in the state of: Montana
We live in a subdivision with private roads maintained by the Homeowners Association for the use of all homeowners. The covenants state that each road as platted shall include a 60' road easement, extending 30' to either side of the center line of the road. On one particular tract, the road closely parallels a fence line on the other side of which is National Forest land. (Several homeowners assert that the intent when the land was originally subdivided was to provide all homeowners with National Forest access at this point, but I have seen no written documentation of this.)
On this particular tract, the fence line appears to be well within the boundary of the 60' road easement, so that one could walk directly from the easement (over the fence) onto National Forest property. The owner of said tract maintains that the road easement is exclusively a utility easement, and therefore may not be used by other homeowners to access the forest. However, the covenants state the following: "All road easements as shown on the plat shall include a corresponding easement for drainage, electricity, telephone, lighting, water, sewer, cable television and all other utilities."
My questions are as follows:
1. Am I correct in my interpretation that the above language spells out two separate easements-- the road easement (for ingress and egress) and the corresponding utility easement?
2. If so, would not the road easement allow any homeowner to ingress and egress from the surface of the road to the National Forest boundary without trespassing on the underlying tract? Would not any form of transportation allowed on the road (walking, biking, horseback riding) be similarly permitted within the confines of the road easement?
3. If legal access to the National Forest land at this point were to be established pursuant to this easement, can the Homeowners Association then compel the tract's owner to either remove a portion of the fence that is blocking access, or permit the Association to install a gate to facilitate access?
Thank you in advance for your time and assistance!