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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default Enforcing a View and Conservation Easement

    My question involves an easement in the state of:CT
    I bought a home facing the ocean with a great view. The lot, directly in front of me, on the water, has been vacant and they are now building a home. I knew this would occur, but I have easements that allow me to still view the water. As I look toward the water, they are building their home to the left of the view easement, and are not building on the 50 ft easement (on their land) to the right. I also, on top of the view easement, for the front (waterfront)half, also have a conservation easement, which says in the deed no dirt, stone, mineral, removal or change of any kind can occur on that. I reminded the building owner, and they relocated their driveway so that it will now, not run over that area.
    I know they don't have much room for building, so have tried to be reasonable. Though they aren't building over my view and conservation easement, they have dug up the whole area about 3 feet deep to accommodate a work area. This is filled with a long construction bin, many trucks coming and going through out the day, parking of their construction vehicles on it during the day, and sometimes during the night. Also, I have across their land a deeded easement to ingress and egress, across a 20 foot path, to the right of the view easement, from my house to the water. That was also dug away and is littered with construction boards and materials for building the house, though they left 10 ft passable.

    They never asked permission, though did tell me when they are done with construction, they will return the conservation area to how it was. My deed - and theirs too, says that any changes in that area must be agreed to in writing, by the two of us, witnessed and filed with the land records, before anything can be done on the conservation area.

    My house is currently for sale, so this complicates things. I don't know if I have rights to have them not work and drive in that area, or if I'm just being unreasonable. Thank you for your help and reply

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Easement- I Have a Deeded View Easement Over My Neighbors Property

    I think it is premature to think that there is a violation of the conservation easement until the construction and property restoration is complete.

    If you are angry about them not asking permission, I suggest the that you get past that. Because in the end, they have to comply. Be a little patient .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Enforcing a View and Conservation Easement

    Quote Quoting jsga
    View Post
    My question involves an easement in the state of:CT
    I bought a home facing the ocean with a great view. The lot, directly in front of me, on the water, has been vacant and they are now building a home. I knew this would occur, but I have easements that allow me to still view the water. As I look toward the water, they are building their home to the left of the view easement, and are not building on the 50 ft easement (on their land) to the right. I also, on top of the view easement, for the front (waterfront)half, also have a conservation easement, which says in the deed no dirt, stone, mineral, removal or change of any kind can occur on that. I reminded the building owner, and they relocated their driveway so that it will now, not run over that area.
    I know they don't have much room for building, so have tried to be reasonable. Though they aren't building over my view and conservation easement, they have dug up the whole area about 3 feet deep to accommodate a work area. This is filled with a long construction bin, many trucks coming and going through out the day, parking of their construction vehicles on it during the day, and sometimes during the night. Also, I have across their land a deeded easement to ingress and egress, across a 20 foot path, to the right of the view easement, from my house to the water. That was also dug away and is littered with construction boards and materials for building the house, though they left 10 ft passable.

    They never asked permission, though did tell me when they are done with construction, they will return the conservation area to how it was. My deed - and theirs too, says that any changes in that area must be agreed to in writing, by the two of us, witnessed and filed with the land records, before anything can be done on the conservation area.

    My house is currently for sale, so this complicates things. I don't know if I have rights to have them not work and drive in that area, or if I'm just being unreasonable. Thank you for your help and reply
    I think that you are being unreasonable. You already admitted that they have very little room for the home itself thanks to your easements. They need room to work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Enforcing a View and Conservation Easement

    They need room to work.
    Gosh, they sure do, don't they?

    Nice guys sometimes finish last in situations such as this one. The OP is not being unreasonable in being concerned about where this is going.

    If I had been in the situation of the OP I would have reasonably granted a temporary construction easement to the neighbor with the following provisions:

    A clearly defined area.
    A clearly defined drop-dead date/condition for the ending of the temporary construction easement.
    A specific performance bond for the return of the easement area to a clearly defined condition.

    I hope that this turns out well for the OP. If not, it might be a steep climb to solve the problem, which could go on for a long time. Remember that the OP has the parcel for sale and the existence of the protection of a temp easement and a posted bond would likely better smooth over qualms of prospective buyers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Enforcing a View and Conservation Easement

    Hello,
    Thank you for your comments and suggestion. I wish I had thought earlier about signing a temporary construction easement. This has already been going on 3 months, and the house is framed in, so they can work on it through the winter. Still, I will approach the neighbors and ask them to sign a temporary construction easement. I think that document might be helpful with our sale

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Enforcing a View and Conservation Easement

    Hello,

    I have come back to this because my neighbor will not speak to me about this easement. They are continuing to excavate and build in the easement area. I wanted to offer a temporary construction easement, as you suggested, with the clause that they would return the area to the pre-construction state. Since they have ignored all attempts I have made to have a dialogue, I am concerned, that they will continue doing what is most convenient to them, and perhaps not return it. I have let them know that they can work in that area, but by the terms of the deed, this must be done in writing, as stated below. They have a copy of this deed restriction in their own deed, plus I gave it to them when I initially spoke with them about it in September.

    I also have this same restricive covenant on another parcel in front of me, and they too refused dialogue, for 6 months, until they finished their project, then finally said, they only now just understood, the mistake was theirs, I was right and they were very sorry. Now they said they will sign something. A bit late, as they did alter the land.

    Under "Covenants" My deed reads, "1.There shall be no developments, buildings, improvements, structures, articles, new landscaping, placed on the Designated portion of the Restricted property 2. There shall be no removal or destruction of top soil, sand, rock, gravel, minerals or any other material on or from the Designated portion of the Restricted property....This conservation agreement may be changed, modified, or revoked only upon written approval of the Grantor and Grantee. To be effective such approval must be witnessed, authenticated and recorded pursuant to the Laws of the State of CT." Further is states "and this conservation easement shall run with the land and be binding on the grantor and his heirs and assigns forever."

    I bought my property with full knowledge about the benefit I had with these easements. It added value to me, and contributed to my buying this property. I want to be reasonable, and feel I am by letting them work in the easement area, but I also feel it is important to sign something as the deed states. It is because they won't speak with me that I am pursuing this again.

    Thank you for your help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Enforcing a View and Conservation Easement

    Then let them speak to your lawyer. It's time to retain one if you haven't already.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Enforcing a View and Conservation Easement

    I did contact one. He came over and looked at the area, and agreed that, according to the terms of the deed, what they are doing is wrong. He wrote a letter to them, basically just saying we wanted to have a dialogue, that we are willing to discuss letting them continue working over the easement areas, but that we needed to formalize that. This was 2 weeks ago, and again nothing. I also offered in the letter to allow their lighter construction vehicles to park on the land which I do own, and that they hadn't asked permission to use, but were using - but that would need to be formalized also. They have since stopped parking their vehicles and using our owned land for staging the construction area, but I haven't heard a word from them.

    I really don't want to go to a heavier step - and indeed a dialogue could prevent that, but hearing nothing from them while they continue to work in the easement area makes me not very confident that they can be trusted to do the right thing. I would prefer to avoid a problem now, than have to resolve a bigger one later.

    Thank you

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