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  1. #1
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    Aug 2015
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    Unhappy How to Get an Easement for a Municipal Water Line

    My question involves an easement in the state of:CA
    I own three landlocked parcels in city limits w/ multifamily buildings -10 total units- built in 1960 with a well, going dry. There is a 350 foot Road Easement from the main road referred to in my title report but no one can find the original. There are electrical poles going down this road to my properties (as well as unmarked gas lines-coming from the main road somehow). The owner of the adjacent property has never developed it and is now trying to sell it and has refused to grant an easement, I expect because he thinks it will hurt his sale. Because the well went dry in 2014 (we dropped the pump 10 feet to the bottom and have water for now) the Ca. State Water Board was ready to hook me up to the city water but can't or won't because of the lack of an easement. Can I somehow use: 1)a prescriptive easement because of the telephone easement and possibly gas lines or;2) an Easement by Necessity ? Without water of course the land is way devalued which I believe is his plan to get me to sell, with him, to a potential developer. BTW the Planning Dept. wouldn't help, just said "good luck".

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Get an Easement for a Municipal Water Line

    If you want an easement across your neighbor's land, he says "no", but his land is for sale, there's an obvious solution: Buy his land.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    672

    Default Re: How to Get an Easement for a Municipal Water Line

    If your " telephone easement and possibly gas lines " are on a "utility" easement, that might be your solution. Find out what your already granted easements are.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2015
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    Default Re: How to Get an Easement for a Municipal Water Line

    Land has it's own set of problems with city fees,etc, and priced stupidly high. He bought at the top of the market in 2007 and found out all the draw backs and costs to develop. The existing easement is road only, and no one can find the original document.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: How to Get an Easement for a Municipal Water Line

    If the easement is road only, how did the electric, phone, and gas line get installed? And if the easement is in your title report, where do the terms of the easement come from that you can say that it is "road only"? Is this easement on the neighbor's, that won't sell you an easement, property?

    I suggest you find the original granting language or the plat or map from the original subdivision to see if there is any depiction or mention of the easement. It didn't have to be granted in a document. I could have been granted by a recorded plat or map.

    You may also have a claim to a prescriptive utility easement depending on the facts which we do not know. But to establish that you would need to go to court.

    Have you run this by an attorney?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    3

    Default Re: How to Get an Easement for a Municipal Water Line

    "If the easement is road only, how did the electric, phone, and gas line get installed? "
    That's my point,the reference to the easement says "for road purposes". That's it. The buildings on the properties were built in 1960, when it was County land, later incorporated into the city limits. I bought in 2004. Title company says it's not unusual to find limited documentation as far as easements go in this area and time period. City Planners couldn't find anything, but I'll try again.


    "And if the easement is in your title report, where do the terms of the easement come from that you can say that it is "road only"? Is this easement on the neighbor's, that won't sell you an easement, property?"
    Yes easement is across neighbors land, who won't grant it, and is trying to unload his property.

    "I suggest you find the original granting language or the plat or map from the original subdivision to see if there is any depiction or mention of the easement. It didn't have to be granted in a document. I could have been granted by a recorded plat or map.

    You may also have a claim to a prescriptive utility easement depending on the facts which we do not know. But to establish that you would need to go to court.

    Have you run this by an attorney?"
    Again , the original easement document is probably not too be found. But I will try looking for the recorded plat. As far as a lawyer goes , I'd like to research this as far as I can alone , I hopefully will get help from the State Water Board. Money is an issue,water too.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to Get an Easement for a Municipal Water Line

    One common way in which power gets installed for multiple properties is that the utility company tells the owner of one property that the running of their service to that property is contingent upon their being allowed to also run the service to neighboring properties. Even assuming that no permission was given, the fact that an easement is overburdened in one way does not mean that it can be overburdened in additional ways -- you still need to go back to the granting language or other binding authority.

    You can see if the water utility might consider eminent domain as a means of getting access to your property, although that's rarely pursued when only a small number of lots are involved due to the cost.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    988

    Default Re: How to Get an Easement for a Municipal Water Line

    CA may be a bit odd as to eminent domain ..but using it to benefit a private developer on non blighted properties may not be in the cards at all.

    Unless you can find some existing easement broad enough to cover water lines ....I think you may find it cheaper and safer to buy his lands or pay his price for an easement ....once your well runs dry your barter power hits about zero and his price may well go up. I Don't know what is lawful in your area ..but big water tankers are quickly big expense items !

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