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The Community Development and Risk Department advises any applicant constructing improvements in any recorded easement to contact the holder of the easement for advice on building safely within the easement. Improvements within easements designed to facilitate the flow of water can lead to potential damage to neighboring properties and public infrastructure. Drainage easements are engineered to bring storm and other surface water to designated storm drains and detention/retention devices. When these routes are impeded by fences, sheds, landscaping, etc. then the intended flow of water can be disrupted. This can result in water being diverted to neighboring properties, which can cause damage to both private property and public infrastructure. Property owners may be liable in civil suits for damages caused by constructing improvements within easements.
In addition to these risks, property owners must be aware that an easement represents a legal agreement to allow the easement holder unimpeded access to the area in question. Improvements may be removed, with no advanced notice, at the expense of the property owner, if an easement holder must do so to access the area. The easement holder has no obligation to replace, repair, or refund damages to improvements that may be removed from recorded easements.
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