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Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

Posted by nicole__ (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 14, 10 at 13:59

19 years ago we purchased a flag lot that backs against open space, with a water tower behind our home. The tower is about 1/3 of a mile behind our home....ok. The two homes next to us have easements on their property, but have landscaped to make their lots impassable, so the previous owner of my home entered into a access contract that states it goes with the land. They built the guys 213' long driveway for him and installed a broken water meter so he had free water while he lived here, 7 years. The problem is.....they bring up front end loaders which is a violation of the load limit on our property, come up in droves when the contract states they can come up "an average" of once a day. :0) Yes.....that is interpretable. The access has lawn planted on it to keep erosion down, with a sprinkler system. They have the habit of parking on the lawn and hanging out with the engine running for 20 minutes at a time, waiting for someone to come uplock the gate. Flicking cigarette butts, dripping oil from the vehicles and tracking mud and gravel onto my colored cement driveway when they come and go. They spin their tires and rev their truck engines as they travel at breakneck speeds!

There is an empty lot nearby, owned by another city, which would give them access....if they asked for it or entered into a contract or purchased access. Can "I" make them do this?

I'd like to get them OFF my property....permanently! Never to see them again and get some privacy. Is this possible?
Our view, South facing,out great room wall of windows
This is my back yard...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

I'd consult an attorney.

At the very least, you can get the authorities to put a stop to the over-limit trucks.

I wish you the best.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

This is an ALL or nothing proposition. I don't care about the limits, I built the driveway with DH, a tank could drive up it. :0) There is no permanent damage.........I just want them OFF my property. Can I get THAT result?

I'm thinking I may have to move....


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

I am not an attorney, & nothing I say is intended to be legal advice.

My experience as a real estate broker leads me to think "no".

The easement was in place when you bought the property & you knew about it & accepted the deed.

You might get a different answer from an attorney, though, so I encourage you to consult one.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

Some access agreements can be terminated or modified. Some can't. It depends on your area's laws and exactly what the terms of the contract are.

You really need to absolutely should consult a real estate attorney, preferably one that practices in the the jurisdiction in which any suite might be brought.

You may have several remedies available to you. Even if you still decide to move, you still need to fix as much of this a possible. The situation as it is will absolutely devalue your property, and you are generally required to disclose it. In some areas, the disclosure will be mandatory. See the attorney.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

Consult an attorney (and make sure it is one that does litigation, not just closings, and one that hasn't done work for the utility). He/she can help you start enforcing the terms of the easement. It is possible that will make it hard enough on them that they will seek the possibly easier access through the other lot.

What do you mean the "load limit" on your property? What does the easement say? Are they using portions of your property that are not part of the easement?

That said, you purchased the property knowing it had an easement on it. You bought it subject to the easement. Even if they agree to use the other access there is no reason they would agree to dissolve the easement. They paid for it, it is an estate in land.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

sue36......the driveway is 4" thick,high psi concrete fibermesh, reinforced with rebar......but the contract states no more than a 10,000 lb vehicle can be used on it. There is slight cracking from a previous incident where they brought up a front end loader and dump truck, which exceeds the contract limit. We took pictures, emailed them, had people from the water department up and they just said....Oh well. It's still usable, nothing we need to fix at this point.

I agree, they may be able to gain access to this other lot and then we'd only see them occasionally. That would be nice. :0)


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

I notice a lot of people are using the term easement. Nothing in the original post stated that Nicole's property is burdened by an easement. The "contract" alluded to may grant an easement. It may not. It may grant a license instead. There is a difference.

This is just one reason a real estate attorney should be consulted.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

"...the previous owner of my home entered into a access contract that states it goes with the land..."

Sounds like an easement to me.

To the OP, talk to a lawyer, but I think you need to start enforcing you property rights. Hold them to the letter of the easement/contract. Follow it exactly. I would set up a motion activated camera that records the time so you have a record of comings and goings. Make sure they stay within the boundary (width) of the easement.

I'm a little vindictive, so I would gather up all the cig butts and dump them back into one of their vehicles. Probably not a good idea to do that, though. ;)


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

Upon rereading the contract again, it's short ....1.25 pages....it IS an EASEMENT and says the weight limit is under normal circumstances. This contract lets them do ANYTHING they want....with no repercussions unless the driveway is made impassable, then they have to fix it. :0)

DH won't move unless the new house is already built, a give away price and gorgeous!!!! So that's not happening. The real estate market is still strong here in Colorado. :0) I'm stuck.

Thanks for ALL your replies. I'm not gonna pursue this one.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

Before you give up, I think you should still talk to a real estate attorney. Easements never let the other party do "anything" they want. They grant specific rights, and that's it. Ingress/egress easements usually give only the right to pass over the property. Generally, the easement holder is restricted to the easement and can't park or otherwise trespass on your property.

Talk to an attorney. A letter to the easement holder might be enough to stop or tone down some of the actions you find objectionable.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

I've got nothing to add except "Gorgeous Back Yard"! :0)


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

I would still speak with an attorney. He may know of laws/rulings in your area that could help you. Lawsuits over easements are plentiful, I am sure there are court cases and describe the limits of their rights, and knowing that could help you. A well drafted letter from the attorney may at least get them to be better behaved.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

I've been reading this for a few days now and

1. A lot of overreaction, lawer this and attorney that

2. They have an easement and basically can go whenever with any kind of equipment neccessary.

3. You can do something about their behavior, call the office and ask them nicely to slow their trucks down and stay in their designated areas.

We live on a narrow dead end residential street with a water tower and TV towers at the end. Water tower was removed and a new one built two years ago. Lots and lots of semis and gravel trucks. Anytime that someone on the street thought they were going too fast, 25mph limit, they would call the company listed on the door of the truck or the water dept and action was taken immediately . The office radioded the crew and all the traffic slowed way down.

We also do this with garbage trucks, delivery services, school buses, and it works.

Call the office, don't mess around yelling at the crew.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

Update: DH & I went to a city council meeting. I very clearly and without emotion, stated the loitering, which causes dripping of oil from vehicles on our colored concrete driveway & the guy smoking, flicking ashes & cigarette butts on my mountain property, speeding, over weight vehicles issue. They have only come up once since. It's been a week now. I consider this a temporary victory.....but we can always go back to city council. :0)

We also looked at forclosed on properties in our town & nearby, as an alternative...just move. We found the banks had loaned insane amounts of money on noisy properties next to the highway.....yuck.....or private property owners were trying to sell for unheard of amounts of money! One nice home had a yard totally destroyed by big horn sheep. The yard was once lawn with a sprinkler system , now just blowing dirt! :0)


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RE: Another glitch;

Update: While I was at work last evening the mayor of my small town called, BTW, he lives 4 houses down from me across the street. He tells DH he came over and looked at the access/driveway and spoke to the water department, he has only been mayor for 3 weeks......it's all new to him. He says he'll speak with the city that owns the access around the corner and ask if my city can use this as access...but in the mean time, he is suggesting we make a money donation to our small city to show goodwill and calm some of the animosity the water tower people feel towards us. ??????? What the he**!!!!!

What do you all think about that?


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

Sounds like your going to the City Council meeting (as the first step?) was interpreted as hostile and 'over their heads'... If you used the word "loitering" and made noise about "having to move" because of all the traffic, and since they haven't been up there in a week, it seems like someone took your complaints pretty seriously.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

What do you all think about that?

1. He doesn't seem to understand that city employees work for the residents of the city, not the other way around.

2. He just left himself open to charges of soliciting a bribe, even if what he said did not rise to the level of a crime. Asking an aggrieved citizen for a monetary "donation" while offering to try to find a way to solve their problem demonstrates an acute lack of common sense, let alone poor judgment.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

You are willing to move from an otherwise ideal situation but not willing to consult with a lawyer to discuss possibilities for dealing with the problem. I don't get it. And yes, I'm aware from the other thread that you believe all the lawyers in the area are "scum bags." I don't get that either.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

Dh advised me to wait and see what the other city says about granting our city access before I call the mayor back about "donating" money. The mayor "IS" a lawyer and the city council has a lawyer sitting on it, the water department has consulted both and come to the same conclusion we did.....we have no rights as long as they are traveling thru my property, not loitering or littering or destroying my property or harrassing us. I'd be willing to pay for improvements to this new access as long as I get a "new" and improved contract stating there is an easement on my property for buried pipes.....not for a driveable access. :0) Wish me luck! We really like this new mayor, who is a retired judge. Since he is new maybe he has the energy to pursue this. I don't think I should just donate money...but I'd be willing to have them send me bills as the access is being looked over by an engineer, or the guy who drives the bulldozer who's putting in the road needs paid. :0) Maybe I can set up an "access" account, funded by me?


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

I will say this once and then I will bow out of the thread. Get your own real estate lawyer to advise you and deal with the issue if need be.

Good luck.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

There's too much going on here that you don't know about;
get an attorney, pronto!


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

we have no rights as long as they are traveling thru my property, not loitering or littering or destroying my property or harrassing us.

And your complaint is that they are littering and destroying your property, and exceeding the agreed upon limits of travel. By hiring a lawyer, you are hiring someone to advocate for YOU. The mayor and the city council lawyer advocate for their client, which is the city, regardless of whether the city is right or wrong. That is there job. Lawyers are not meant to be impartial, they take a position on an issue based on who is paying them.

If you commit a murder and hire a lawyer, he is required to put forth the best case he can for you. This is the same principle.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

"There is an empty lot nearby, owned by another city, which would give them access....if they asked for it or entered into a contract or purchased access. Can "I" make them do this?"

It the the empty lot nearby for sale? If it isn't very expensive, it might be worth your while to buy it so the water company has another road to use besides your driveway.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

What do I think. To be blunt, I think you are amazingly naive. It appears the town is run by lawyers ADVOCATING FOR THE TOWN and yet you don't seem to understand they are on the opposing side. They are asking for "donations" and possible payments and you don't even know what for and seem to be willing to pay for engineering. Do you have any idea what engineering could cost? It could be many, many thousands.

You need to get a lawyer. One who isn't buddies with the townies. Someone who is willing to be adversarial with the town. You do not know how to look out for your best interests and need someone who will. You are being far too conciliatory. Wake up...the town is going to do what is best, and cheapest, for the town. They don't care about your problem. You are 2 votes and a tax bill, that is all you are to them.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

dreamgarden....the lot is "not" for sale. It's an open space access for another city that borders my little town. Since it's an access, maybe they would share it with my town.

Good advice. I'm just limited as to how I can follow it. :0) I'm currently waiting to see what information the mayor comes back with. According to the mayor, the water department thinks we already had our lawyer contact them. So they think a "lawyer" has already been hired by us and continue to treat us this way.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

"I'm currently waiting to see what information the mayor comes back with."

I would guess very little if the town believes you have an attorney involved.

It is no longer a constituent question, but a legal question.


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RE: Contract on property for water tower access, question.....?

brickeyee.....I just meant a lawyer did not "buy" us respect or fear of reprisal. :0) DH advised we did not have a lawyer & had been speaking with them personally. Our neighbor 2 houses down "IS" a lawyer and contacted the water department because "HE" wanted to drive through years ago. So maybe that's the incident they remember & thought he was hired by us. I bought a doctors house......so this neighborhood and all it's professionals confuses people. :0) My dentist lives across the street, she's married to an audiologist who have a TV commercial, making their faces recognizable. Only 5000 people in my little town.


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