Everything You Need to Know About Easements

What is a utility easement?

Utility easements are strips of land used by utility companies to construct and maintain overhead electric, telephone and cable television lines and underground electric, water, and sewer, telephone, and cable television lines.

Who owns the utility easement?

The property owner owns all of the land including the utility easements. However, utilities have a right to access that portion of land which has been designated a utility easement.

How are utility easements created?

Utility easements are usually created at the time a plat for a new development is designed. They almost always exist along streets and along rear lot lines and sometimes exist between two lots (see below):

Why is it important to keep easements clear?

Keeping utility easements clear helps utility companies perform routine maintenance (ex. replace a pole), construct improvement projects (ex. install a new sanitary sewer), and repair utility lines during emergencies (ex. remove a tree which has fallen on a power line during a lightning storm.)

What if I build a mini-barn in an easement?

Mini-barns are subject to Building Setback Lines, and therefore cannot be built within the easement. Setback lines are shown on your subdivision plat. Subdivision plats can be found at the planning department or at the Boone County Recorders office in the courthouse.

What if I build a fence in an easement?

By placing an obstruction in the way of a utility company, it makes outage durations longer by making the utility company move obstructions out of the way. The damage caused by moving a mini-barn out of the way or removing a fence is not the responsibility of the utility company. The utility company by the rights of the easement has the power to do what it takes to maintain the utility.