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Title: Construction and Utility Easements
Post by: John Hiemburg on April 22, 2021, 09:15:03 am
Good morning,


We're prepping for a new building on our existing property (church campus) and there is an overhead power line with a 14' wide (total) easement through that corner of the property.


We can arrange the project so we're clear of the easement, but it would be nicer to put the building there - which would entail moving the power line and easement. This is a residential feed, wooden poles, feeding about 15 homes.


Any experience on how much drama we will incur by asking for the easement to be moved? OBV architect and general contractor will be the ones ultimately submitting the requests etc etc, but here in the planning phase I'd like to know if it's worth attempting or if we should just put the building where it's 'clear'.


Thanks for your wisdom.
Title: Re: Construction and Utility Easements
Post by: Keith Broughton on April 22, 2021, 11:52:10 am
While I have not had direct experience with this it has come to my attention, through others, that the movement of utility poles can become a real problem and/or expense.
Rather than a protracted fight with the city or township, perhaps building "in the clear" might be an easier course of action.
Title: Re: Construction and Utility Easements
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on April 22, 2021, 01:26:38 pm
It would be worth an inquiry anyway.  Yes, it will be easier to stay clear of the easement-but that may not be enough.  Pretty much any primary line that would be used in a resi area has a Limited Approach Boundary of 10 ft-so depending on your building, even outside of the easement you could encroach upon that.

Not just speculation-my church is embarking on a building project with powerlines on public property (above sidewalk/alley) adjacent and the POCO is saying they will be too close, so they will need to be buried.

Better to ask before you break ground, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Construction and Utility Easements
Post by: John Hiemburg on April 22, 2021, 04:37:08 pm
Not just speculation-my church is embarking on a building project with powerlines on public property (above sidewalk/alley) adjacent and the POCO is saying they will be too close, so they will need to be buried.


That's interesting - will you guys be footing the cost of burial?


If burial is an option - is it ever possible to bury underneath a building? (I'm assuming that's a no, but you what assuming gets you)
Title: Re: Construction and Utility Easements
Post by: Chrysander 'C.R.' Young on April 23, 2021, 10:43:08 am
OP - my day job is for a utility company.  Call the utility company that is responsible for the line well ahead of time and ask; you might get lucky and they may want to move that line anyway and might work with you.  Odds are that they won't, though.  The pole should have a plate with contact info.

Absolutely do NOT encroach on the easement.  They can and will order you to demo your structure if it is in the way of a utility repair and you can do precisely jack about it.
Title: Re: Construction and Utility Easements
Post by: Steve-White on April 23, 2021, 11:31:26 am
It would be worth an inquiry anyway.  Yes, it will be easier to stay clear of the easement-but that may not be enough.  Pretty much any primary line that would be used in a resi area has a Limited Approach Boundary of 10 ft-so depending on your building, even outside of the easement you could encroach upon that.

Not just speculation-my church is embarking on a building project with powerlines on public property (above sidewalk/alley) adjacent and the POCO is saying they will be too close, so they will need to be buried.

Better to ask before you break ground, in my opinion.

Exactly.  Worth a try as every municipality and electricity provider is different.  Since it's a church property and not an individual building a home workshop that may get treated differently.

Get you ducks in a row first as Stephen has advised.
Title: Re: Construction and Utility Easements
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on April 23, 2021, 12:33:54 pm

That's interesting - will you guys be footing the cost of burial?


If burial is an option - is it ever possible to bury underneath a building? (I'm assuming that's a no, but you what assuming gets you)

I am not sure-I know who was footing the cost was a topic of discussion.  Sometimes, POCO's will justify the expense based on future energy sales, but with a small building there may not be much to justify it against.

Under would never be an option-maybe in a congested city/urban environment where there would be underground vaults and conduit but that would get very spendy very quickly.