What is a Public Utility Easement?
Utility easements allow areas of land to be used by utility companies to construct and maintain power, telephone, cable TV and gas lines. Utilities can be installed overhead on poles or buried underground. The easement will usually say if it covers overhead, underground, or both types of installations. Easements may be for one utility, or for several utilities.
Who owns the Public Utility Easement?
The property owner retains ownership of all the land, including that allocated for the utility easement.
How are Public Utility Easements created?
Easements may be written into the plat drawing at the time that a plat is created (for housing developments), or they may be separate agreements that are written by a utility and signed by the property owner. These easements may be for projects that are coming soon, or to accommodate future projects.
Can I landscape within the easement area?
Yes, but keep in mind that the easement area needs to be accessible to equipment like trucks and backhoes for installation and maintenance of the utilities. Any landscaping in the easement area needs to allow for access by this equipment. After underground equipment is installed, the grade within the easement area cannot be changed more than 6 inches for safety reasons.
Will my landscaping be restored after the utility company has worked within the easement area?
The utility will do basic restoration of the area, including returning the area to grade, and replacing; surface gravel, blacktop, beauty bark or topsoil. Replacing plants, structures, or more involved landscaping is the responsibility of the property owner.
What if I sell my land?
Easements are perpetual, in that they apply to all future owners and also if the property is subdivided.
What does “good and valuable consideration” mentioned on the easement mean?
Most of the Peninsula Light Co. easements state “For and in consideration of the sum of One ($1.00) Dollar and other good and valuable consideration in hand paid, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged”. Easements can be considered more official if money is involved, and if you really want your $1 let us know. The good and valuable consideration is the value to you or to the community in receiving service from the utilities.
Why do I need to sign a Public Utility Easement?
Easements are necessary to bring utility services to our members. In addition, if you are a member of Peninsula Light Co., you are required to grant easements as a condition of membership.