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What Is an Easement?


An easement is a specific section of land for which a governing entity or a utility company has the right to be allowed access to certain utilities and stormwater management facilities for inspection and maintenance purposes.

It might also restrict what can be constructed within the easement or at least require an approval from the entity for whom the easement belongs for anything proposed to be constructed within that easement.

Many easements are defined by lines that are offset a certain number of feet to both sides of a utility line or a storm sewer pipe. Some easements might have an irregular shape around something like a stormwater management basin.

Blanket easements are general easements that are not defined within specific lines within a property and that relate to the entire site.

How An Easement Can Impact a Land Development Project

An existing easement that crosses into your property is something that could impact how your proposed layout is designed. It could delay the start of the construction if you have to obtain an approval for any proposed development within that easement.

Planning for a stormwater management design would also have to account for any existing easements.

Proposed easements might also have to be added to proposed land development plans as required by applicable regulations.

How Easements Are Shown on a Plan

Regular easements are usually shown on plans as dashed lines with labels that describe the easements.

Blanket easements will most likely have a note somewhere on the plan explaining the blanket easement and what is covers.

Be Aware of the Location of Easements

It is important that whoever is preparing the plans for your land development project is able to find all existing easements and show them accurately on the plan to avoid issues later with conflicts involving proposed layouts and other parts of the design.

Related: Land Development Regulations (A Simple Guide)

Posted in Land Development

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