Tag Archives: pole barn fire walls

Getting Easement Permission in Writing

When All Things Apparently Go Wrong

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rachel was contacted by one of her clients, who has had his building delivered and has begun erecting it. Client inquired about adding sheetrock to his building. As with many things, there existed a Paul Harvey (younger readers can Google Paul Harvey).

You can read client’s story, as related by Rachel:

Spoke with Sean to explain options he has.  Asked how things were going and he said bad….

Sean was putting his building up.  Posts in and he was just getting ready to cut purlins and get everything in order to knock this out.  One day an irrigation inspector came to check out a canal in his backyard and told him they have an easement encompassing his new building location.  He said county building department gave him a permit to build and irrigation inspector said they didn’t care, he couldn’t build there.   He spoke with county and they told him he should have known about easement.  He told them he specifically asked them about canal before submitting for a permit and they said there would be no issue.  He went to three permitting meetings where this had been brought up and they said there would be no issues.  County, even though he has never raised his voice, will no longer take his calls and said after this he would need to talk to his lawyers.

Reason for finding out about re-engineering – he may have to move building.  Building apparently lies eight feet onto easement.  If he moves it closer to his house they will require fire walls and he’s not sure what this would entail.  I advised him one wall (facing house) might be all he would need to sheetrock, but to get something in writing for what they would require.  He said he would for sure find out what they require.

He went out and bought tarps as he wants to keep his materials covered and out of elements.  Adding insult to injury, his neighbors are now complaining about a mess and one even called cops and said he didn’t have a permit.  Officer come to his place and accuses him of building without a permit – he (client) said he had a permit and it’s public knowledge.  Officer could have looked it up. 

This customer was very particular when I worked with him and I know he had lots of dealings with county building department where they first told him he wouldn’t even need a permit to build!.

A horrible example of things going wrong when you did everything right!

Like many of you gentle readers, when I have dealings with a professional, I expect their word to be accurate. Like Sean, I have relied upon one’s word, rather than getting things in writing. It came back to bite me.

In most instances, one cannot encroach onto an easement, this would be akin to building upon one’s neighbor’s property. With this in mind, when faced with an easement situation, get opinions in writing AND make sure you have appropriate permission documentation from easement grantee.

If in doubt, write it out.