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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Unilaterally Expand Easement in North Carolina

    My brother, sister and I own a 40 acre tract of land in Chatham County, NC, to which the only access if through a neighbor's land. We have a 15 foot wide easement for this purpose granted by the neighbor 4 decared ago. We have considered selling the land, and a factor in the value is whether or not it can be developed into a residential subdivision. I've been advised that it cannot, at least in part, because the 15 foot easement is not wide enough to accommodate the size road necessary for such a development. One of my siblings claims that the 15 foot easement can be increased in width by us, unilaterally, if needed to build a subdivision on the land. It is my contention that we have access (and thus are not landlocked), so they are not obligated to grant us a wider easement. The matter has become important because my sister intends to block any attempts to sell the land for the appraised value, in the belief that the property is worth twice as much because it can be developed for higher density use that it really can be (if, in fact I'm right). Am I right? (And I hope I'm wrong, because clearly it would increase our property value.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Unilaterally Expand Easement in North Carolina

    If the easement width was defined as 15 feet its 15 feet absent language in the granting document allowing for more if certain things happen. Have you thought about asking for a wider easement? You would need at least 60 feet for a subdivision. Landsurveyor would have a better handle on that one. Sounds like a undivided interest situation with your siblings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,583

    Default Re: Unilaterally Expand Easement in North Carolina

    I agree with landagent.

    I would be surprised that there would be any legal right to expand the easement width. Even with that, the original grant would probably have to change in addition, as the intended use would be changing significantly.

    I would suggest that you ask your sister to explain how the expansion is to be done unilaterally.

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