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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Can You Use a Utility Easement for Access

    My question involves an easement in the state of: Colorado

    We own a property accessed by at least two easements over 5 properties owned by others. Our land is one of the original parcels in the town, so it is buried deep within surrounding properties...the reason our access is over easements through so many properties. The easements we use can basically be segmented into two parts: the first easement we must use to drive west and the second we must use to drive south straight to our property. Until recently, the final easement going south and directly into our property has been on a vacant lot (owned but with no house on it). We have used this easement for 13 years and it is recorded with the County.

    The owner of the vacant lot recently sold the land and the new owner will now be building a home on it. We will now be sharing this final easement with the new owner. Up until now, we have been solely responsible for maintaining the easement (we paved it years ago), and we anticipate the new owner will agree to shared maintenance (although we haven't addressed that yet because they just bought the property).

    Today we found out that the new owner will be installing a circular drive in the front of their house accessing the easement at two points and another drive into their garage on the side of their house (accessing the easement at another point). This will be a total of 3 points of their access to the easement to our 1 point. While it seems they are fully within their rights to use the easement, we are concerned about their heavier use and wonder if we can present a case for hardship in looking for another access point for our property. While we have more investigating to do, it appears there may be a public utilities easement south of our property and we're wondering if we can pursue using that as our main driveway (while keeping the shared easement...just not using it as much).

    What are the steps we must take and is "hardship" a strong argument for us? I'm not sure anyone in our town has to use easements crossing so many properties to access as we do. We'd love to simplify things if we can, and we are nervous about this new development with a new neighbor.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    629

    Default Re: Can You Use a Utility Easement for Access

    Quote Quoting APEEL5
    View Post
    Today we found out that the new owner will be installing a circular drive in the front of their house accessing the easement at two points and another drive into their garage on the side of their house (accessing the easement at another point). This will be a total of 3 points of their access to the easement to our 1 point. While it seems they are fully within their rights to use the easement, we are concerned about their heavier use and wonder if we can present a case for hardship in looking for another access point for our property.
    The new neighbors haven't built and moved into their house yet, so what "Hardship" are you anticipating?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Can You Use a Utility Easement for Access

    If the utility easement is limited to your own land, and your use is consistent with the easement, it's your land. If you are hoping to cross somebody else's land on an easement they gave to a utility company, you're not the utility company and it's not your land to use.

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