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Thread: Easement to log over private road

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    Easement to log over private road

    Our Road Association has 14 property owners. Everyone has easements over each others property to access the public road at the bottom of the mountain. 2 of these owners hold 80 acres of harvestable timber each. The last time one of them logged, the trucks did extensive damage to the road. Can we legally access a special use fee on the timber owners when they use the road to harvest timber? They pay the same amount now as the homeowner and their trucks cause extensive damage when they log. It costs over 25K to resurface our road, not to mention the understructure damage we don't see when 80,000 pounds goes down our steep mountainside in 90degree weather. Can we write something into our bylaws that would cover this? Help please!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by janball View post
    Can we write something into our bylaws that would cover this? Help please!
    This sounds like a question to ask an attorney. Since the road is owned by the property owners and not a municipality, agreements, covenants, and the such are a civil matter, thus consulting a land use attorney would be best.
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    unplugged

    thanks for replying. We are a poor community ...most of the owners have a tough time scraping together a small dues payment, so I try to do a lot of research and avoid the attorney route. We can do a lot of things without their help, but you are right in that we may need their help on this one. Hoping to save a buck.

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    As CPSURaf suggested this is probably best addressed by an attorney.

    That said, I work in a rural county and access to private roads is a big issue. The language of the easement may be important. If the easement is private and restricted to the landowners themeselves, who mutually grant access to those included in the easement, a third party (logging company) might not be a party to the easement simply because the landowner with the logs to harvest gives him permission. If the easement language does not specify the access is restricted, then there may be nothing you can do.

    An attorney and ultimately a judge might decide that a private access easement granted for mutual use by landowners may be on its face for the purpose of residential ingress and egress and therefore a commerical use is not part of the implied easement agreement.

    A gentleman's agreement to repair the damage to the road does not seem unreasonable and the landowner benefitting probably should contribute to fixing any damage.

    Changing the bylaws of a property owner association is a possibilty. However, property owner associations are notoriously weak at enforcing their rules. Much of it depends on the good will of those involved. You usually end up having a lawyer or judge get involved.

    Good luck.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    As CPSURaf suggested this is probably best addressed by an attorney.

    That said, I work in a rural county and access to private roads is a big issue. The language of the easement may be important. If the easement is private and restricted to the landowners themeselves, who mutually grant access to those included in the easement, a third party (logging company) might not be a party to the easement simply because the landowner with the logs to harvest gives him permission. If the easement language does not specify the access is restricted, then there may be nothing you can do.

    An attorney and ultimately a judge might decide that a private access easement granted for mutual use by landowners may be on its face for the purpose of residential ingress and egress and therefore a commerical use is not part of the implied easement agreement.

    A gentleman's agreement to repair the damage to the road does not seem unreasonable and the landowner benefitting probably should contribute to fixing any damage.

    Changing the bylaws of a property owner association is a possibilty. However, property owner associations are notoriously weak at enforcing their rules. Much of it depends on the good will of those involved. You usually end up having a lawyer or judge get involved.

    Good luck.
    Odd that such rich resources makes landowners have to scrape by. But that is the nature of 2nd - 3rd growth. Nonetheless, otterpop reads it like I do. The roads and trucks are the first to do you in, then not following the FPA permit, then too large of a clearcut. Be careful and good luck.

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