My question involves an easement in the state of: California
I have a question regarding a reciprocal agreement that part of our residential development is being asked to sign, in order for the proposed housing development adjacent to our development needs in order to be able to have their development plan approved by the county. Our development is a small gated community. The proposed housing development to the east of us, in order to have their plan approved, must provide emergency exit routes in two opposite directions. In order to do that, they are having to propose an emergency exit that accesses our development, and would cause their residents, in case of an emergency, to be able to drive through our development in order to exit to the west. Our development has no "common property", so all of our lot lines extend out into the middle of our streets. We already have an existing easement agreement with each other, to allow the residents to drive on the streets, and this proposed developer to the east of our development is asking us for a subordination to this existing easement, to allow their residents, in the event of a serious emergency (i.e., wildfire, earthquake), to be able to open a proposed locked gate (electronically openable by an HOA board member or emergency responders, or by a resident, using a wrench), and drive out through our development. This affects only some of residents, as the exit route crosses a few of the lots. We are asking for some concessions from the proposed development in return for signing the reciprocal agreement that requires the new developer to give us some attractive concessions (such as a 20' planting barrier between our developments, the building, improvement and maintenance of that emergency road and gate, a camera at the gate, and several other concessions that are beneficial to our development). The developer is in agreement with our requested concessions. My question is this - we have some homeowners who are stating they will not sign this reciprocal agreement unless this new developer remunerates them in some amount (unknown to me). I am wondering what is commonly done in these circumstances, and what would a reasonable remuneration amount be, if it is commonly asked for? Our fear is if these two homeowners prevent this reciprocal agreement from being signed as it stands, the county can come in, and instead of the currently proposed emergency road route, recommend exercise an existing IOD that runs through my property and my neighbor's property that will carve out a very large section of both of our lots for an access road to that development. And, the road would be made public, and we would then lose our gates, losing our gated community status. Both of these things would significantly devalue our property. I doubt we would have any legal recourse against the holdout homeowners, but if I could find out if a remuneration is often part of an agreement such as this, and what might be a "reasonable sum", I might be able to convince the new developer to remunerate all 10 affected homeowners, and we can then move forward. The county planning commission I fear is running very short on patience with us, and may simply throw up their hands, and voice their recommendation of exercising that IOD and be done with us. The developer to the east of us also does not wish for this solution, as it would also remove their gates, which would devalue their proposed development as well. Any suggestions as to what a reasonable sum of money would be to remunerate the small number of homeowners in our development whose easements would have to have the subordination placed would be very appreciated.