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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Posts
    10

    Default Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Oregon
    Hello,
    We have a pole on our property that was placed to provide service to our home. It is on our property and it does have a transformer. Our service is underground from this pole. Our neighbor is building a house and approached us to see if we could remove the pole and go underground from the road which is about 50' away from the pole. He would go with an underground service also. It is ugly and we agreed. However, when he found out the cost of going underground he stated that he would go overhead from our pole. The electric company (PP&L) estimator that I spoke with stated that the neighbor would have to get permission in the form of an easement, since there is no easement. We thought that was the end of it and we would be removing the pole. Apparently PP&L did not like the truthfulness of this estimator and he was replaced and we heard nothing regarding the estimates for removing the pole. I contacted PP&L again and requested that we still wished to remove the pole and they sent out a "new" estimator. This new estimator told me that there was an easement & ROW for the pole and he appeared to listen to our wishes of removing the pole. However, we came home a few days later and found out that the neighbor had his mobile home connected by PP&L to our pole in our absence!
    I contacted PP&L (through a different person) about an easement and they replied via email: "After researching the above address it appears we have no recorded easement for the pole placed upon your property near the North lot line. Since the pole in place provided service to your property, no easement was required."
    We do not wish to have neighbor issues. But it is our property and our view.
    Does the neighbor have the right to cross our property with his power line and use our pole for his needs? What should we do about the "new" estimator who lied? Does PP&L have to remove this service drop from our pole?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,579

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    There was probably an agreement for service signed by you or your predecessor in order to get electric service. It's terms may have included permission to place a pole. I would move carefully- if you demand that the pole be removed, they may just do that and leave you without service.

    You might have better luck with this as a next step:

    http://www.puc.state.or.us/PUC/about_us.shtml

    It won't cost you anything to find out if they can help you, and they might have some information which could be useful to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    How about an alternate, if the logistics allow.

    if the pole is near the edge of your property, would it be possible and would you be open to allowing the neighbor to go underground from the pole. You most likely would be required to grant an easement for the pole at that time which would not be revocable.

    or, if it were me and I had figured I would go underground from the road anyway, I would speak to PP&L about running the underground and ask them in the same breath if they would be removing the pole at the same time.

    You most likely will get an odd look or something said about the neighbor after which time I would say there is no easement for the pole. It was installed with permission only to service your property and you want it to go.

    that all is of course with the premise there is no easement already.

    just realize that if you allow the neighbors power to continue to be fed from the pole on your property, it will become an easement regardless of what you do.

    also, there needs to be an easement granted for the airspace from the pole to your property line for the neighbors lines as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    Thanks LandSurveyor & JK... again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    I would also offer, that if this neighbor connected to the pole on your property without your permission while you were gone, you already have a neighbor problem.

    I don't understand who actually made the connection. Was it PP&L or a contractor that he hired? At any rate, neighbors who just do things without permission and expect you to put up with it or fight about it after the fact, just seem to come back with one thing after another over the years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    Generally, a contractor can't connect to power lines or install the meter. A contractor only puts in the stuff on the customer side of the meter. The service side of the meter is almost always done by the electric service provider.

    It is also possible that the electric provider has some form of a blanket right to use aerial space in your city/county.

    It generally costs several thousand dollars to install or move a pole.

    Also, as already pointed out, a previous owner of the property must have signed an agreement to have the pole installed in the first place. If it has a transformer, that transformer is designed to supply more than one house so installing it for a single residence was probably pretty expensive.

    Although you did not state the cost, I would guess that going underground would cost about $500 to $1,000 a foot.

    P.S. Did they come onto your property? Did they damage the lawn with tire tracks? You might have an argument for trespassing and/or intrusion then.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    Well, The situation currently that PP&L admitted to the neighbor, not us, that the pole is indeed on our property and they have no legal right to use it. PP&L is proposing a 110 foot overhead service drop from the road, while their Electrical Service Requirement handbook states the maximum drop length is 90 feet.

    We have offered, since the beginning, before construction, an underground easement at no charge. The overhead service is directly across our view to the North, our appraiser stated that it is reducing the value of our property. Now that PP&L has taken such a long time to acknowledge their mistake, the neighbor has his house almost complete. It makes it more expensive to change from an overhead to underground service.

    PP&L gave an option that caused a permanent fixture to be put in place that affects our quality of life, which they had no legal right to give. PP&L caused events to be put in place that caused us emotional duress, time and expense.
    Do we have a right to file a lawsuit over the loss of value and quality of life that our property had before PP&L gave away something that was not theirs to give?
    Thanks in advance

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,579

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    Do we have a right to file a lawsuit over the loss of value and quality of life that our property had before PP&L gave away something that was not theirs to give?
    You have a right to file a lawsuit for whatever you want.

    But what is actually possible?

    The "option" obstructing your view is not actually an option but your current situation providing service to your home.

    If you feel that your quality of life has been diminished you can get an appraiser to put a dollar value on it and go to court.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    Thanks LandSurveyor,
    The "option" obstructing our view is not providing service to out house, it is providing service to the neighbor. The pole on our property does not obstruct the view and our service in underground from that point. We are getting an appraisal done and we will be possibly filing a law suit.

    Thanks again, This board is a great resource and I appreciate all of the time that people take to answer questions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Power Line Run to Neighbor's House With No Utility Easement

    if the obstruction is not on your property, unless you are in one of a very few counties I am aware that have "view rights", you have no claim.

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