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Old 07-19-2009, 05:23 PM
Location: Waxhaw
138 posts, read 362,236 times
Reputation: 66


A "Stormwater" Easement is usually just a drainage ditch or swale that runs along a property to carry rainwater to a drain located at the end. These are harmless, and may only get "full" under a heavy rain. they are usually designed so as not to permit standing water. As such, your ability or "right" to alter it is limited, as you cannot "change" or interrupt its intended design. You can install a french drain system to allow the water to flow, so long as it does not impede the flow and cause issues with the intended design.

If you like the home and feel the neighborhood is right for you - I think this is a small issue.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:43 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,384,557 times
Reputation: 1072
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
Having a portion of a hard structure in an easement is not a good thing. Long story short, if something needs to be done to the sewer line that's in the easement, the owner of the line (likely the city or county) has every right to "remove" the structure to enable them to access the pipe. More often than not, this won't happen but it would be perfectly legal if it did. The only hope for this situation is if the pipe is either not buried very deep or it is closer to the other aide of the easement. In those cases, you may be able to work with the utility company and get a new easement recorded that basically jogs around the conflicting structure. However, the cost to do this would likely be 100% on the owner (probably $2000-$4000).

My advice is to make the seller fix it first. Don't accept a price reduction in the house price because this is a fairly serious problem...just as serious as a cracked foundation in my opinion, and that burden should not be passed on to the buyer.

In a long shot chance, the seller may be able to find out who surveyed the building of the garage and pin the correction duties on them...as they should have never allowed a structure to be built like that. Another possibility is that the structure was there first and the utility screwed up by installing the line too close and recording the easement in a conflicting manner. In that case, the utility would need to correct it. This happens more than you'd think.

As far as insurance goes, I would bet the structure may be uninsurable...nevermind more expensive. The example given above about the floodplain is very different. A floodplain is not an easement. It's a surveyed and anticipated high water level. Most places don't allow new construction in these zones, but there are a lot of structures that were built before the rules came about. Therefore, they have a pretty much documented guaruntee that they're going to flood at some time. Therefore, they're required to carry flood insurance which is pricey.
Here's an update.
The city of Charlotte said in the rare event that they have to get to the sewer line for repairs, they would make every effort not to disturb the garage since it's only 1.6 feet into the right of way and they have plenty of room to work around it. But there is no guarantee since they have the right in case a repair needs to be made.

From the land records, the sewer line came first, then the garage.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:12 AM
Location: Ashburn, VA
1 posts, read 16,608 times
Reputation: 11
I have a 4' storm drain easement within by 6.5' side yard. In the past, the storm drain easement area acts like a pond and collects rain water for the community.

When I bought the house 5 years ago, the sales told me water collection area next to my lot will be filled up. I expressed my concerns about my foundation to the County and my builder/developer when it is about the first year and the pond is still there, my builder came up with a bio-retention pond.

Late July this year, my builder started the construction and got it completed in early August (my builder is about to wrap up the project in my community) while the County told me the plan is NOT approved technically.

Here is the part I do not agree with my builder. My builder told me I have 4' easement in my property and he or the County has the right to construct a pond with the edge on the easement. The result is my side yard turns into steep slopes (steeper than 1:2 slopes) or part of the pond and it is mostly inaccessible.

My understanding is an easement is an area I provide access to the service crews or government authorities for the purpose of constructing, operating, maintaining, adding to, altering or replacing present or future storm water management facilities, storm drainage lines, and etc.

If my builder is right and the government might agree with my builder, it will make the service crews or government authorities have no easement to access but to use the rest of my property as an easement. So my interpretation is my builder shall not extend the body of the pond into the easement.

I am not certain about this. I see so many helpful information here and wonder if I can have your thoughts on this issue.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:38 AM
2 posts, read 32,635 times
Reputation: 12
I have an easement in my back yard. In which 3 other neighbors drain there water into my easement when it rains. Now all that water is washing the ground away from the easement. What am I suppose to do about getting that fixed?
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:52 PM
1 posts, read 16,283 times
Reputation: 17
We have a public storm drain easement at the back of our yard. A major road overpours its runoff onto this channel and the channel is fed by a concrete pipe that runs underground and opens into the ditch 3 houses upstream from ours. The channel has progressively widened and the soil in our back yard is eroding. The Channel doglegs on a 100 degree angle in our yard and the volume of water which funnels into the sharp angle is the main erosive factor. This water is then funneled back to the storm water system along this major city road. We frankly hardly noticed the channel when we moved in. But with the drought and subsequent hard rains the erosion is more evident. Can we expect the city to obtain a Storm Drainage Easement? We are serving a public purpose by safeguarding other homes in the community and and at the same time taking runoff from city created roads. So far the Storm Water Services folk find it not their problem. What is the best way to handle this issue and if it all falls to us, what is a cost effective method to cure the problem?
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:02 PM
16 posts, read 77,781 times
Reputation: 38
BillnCity: I am a licensed Civil Engineer with a lot of experience working with Charlotte Storm Water Services. If you could send me your address (direct message is fine), I would be glad to take a quick look at this area. If the erosion is severe and causing property damage and downstream siltation issues, it will only get worse thus the City would typically be interested in fixing it sooner rather than later. Another thought: if the erosion is obvious, you may have more luck speaking to someone in Erosion Control, not just storm water.

Without knowing the whole story, stabilization (replanting/replacing sod) is typically the best simple remedy for erosive issues. Also, a reinforced turf matting like North American Green does a pretty good job of managing scour in lower volume/velocity areas. Best of luck.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:28 AM
2 posts, read 32,635 times
Reputation: 12
My address is 8918 Tendring Court. Charlotte, NC, 28215 If you could look at this area I would really like it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:38 PM
2 posts, read 31,498 times
Reputation: 12
Default Damaged storm drain pipe through easement on my property

My local township is trying to tell me that I am responsible for a dammaged storm drain pipe passing through the easement on my property.
The problem is water is running out the joints between pipes causing erosion. This erosion has produced sink holes in my yard which are dangerous. They are telling me I must foot the bill to dig it up and repair the pipe, are they out of their mind?
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:39 PM
3,775 posts, read 6,619,677 times
Reputation: 4378
Does it drain water from a public street?
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:54 PM
2 posts, read 31,498 times
Reputation: 12
Yes it does.
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