2.22.2006

House Complications

As I've written before, we are encountering some snafus regarding easements that cross our property. Specifically, one easement that we'd been told had no setbacks, and against which we'd subsequently designed the house, actually has a twenty foot setback. Even though our current garage is sitting right the fuck on top of that easement. Whatever.

I went downtown yesterday to submit paperwork to reroute the easement. I got babysitting for Mali so that she wouldn't disrupt the work of everyone in the building. They don't make appointments for document submissions, so I waited. And waited. And eventually had to leave before my name was called.

I sniffled to myself as I walked out the building, pissed off at the wasted hour and being generally close to sniffling anyhow. Which is contrary to what I barked at Badger the other day, that I am not fragile. But I am human, and my current emotional overload means the tears are closer to the surface than usual.

At any rate, I showed up again this morning. At 7:30, when the department opens. With all three howling kids. I was seen immediately, and the documentation was submitted smoothly.

Then the easement exchange got bopped through three departments between 7:30 and
9:00 this morning (I got calls from them all). But I think we now have all the information we need.

The main contact for the easement exchange is not in the Planning or Development Review department, but in the County Property Division. He is both friendly and
helpful. He will contact me soon to offer a fee estimate.

The easement exchange is actually two separate, ideally simultaneous, processes. There is precedent for them both. However, it will most likely take a few months.

The first process is private. I need to contact a title insurance company to see if they will insure against the easement exchange. Then we don't have to chase after the original easement owners.

The second process is public, in that we need a hearing in front of the county Board of Supervisors.

First, my Property Division friend will confirm with Public Works that they have no
conflicts with re-routing the easement.

Then, if there are no utility disruptions, it will go to the County Council to make sure the county has no legal issues with the re-routing.

Finally, after weeks and possibly months, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing that will ideally include a formal action to authorize the exchange, will ensure that the exchange doesn't conflict with any of the county's rights, and will relocate any rights the county may hold.

I am wondering if, and have e-queried the architects whether, it makes sense to put our design work on hold until the exchange is settled. Everyone I talked to seemed fairly positive that this was a long rather than a risky process. However the interim design fees would be significant and I'm not much of a gambler.

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