Platted Utility Easements! Help appreciated!
Hello - I am under contract to purchase a property and I found out from Title that there is a platted utility easement going through the parcel. The only information we have about this easement is from the plat map from 1955 which only shows that a 10' utility easement goes through the the middle parcel I'm trying to purchase. The plat map as well as county records does not indicate anything in regards to a grantor, grantee, use, restrictions or other information regarding the easement. Is there any way I can get rid of this platted utility easement for good or have it removed? I've looked for grantees/beneficiaries but there's absolutely no information about this easement. I've attached the map for your review. Any input would be highly appreciated.
It doesn't go through the middle of any parcel, unless the parcel you are buying is LOT 6 and LOT 7.
It appears to be the southeasterly five feet of Lot 7 and the northwesterly line of Lot 6.
Looking at the location in Google Earth the OP is very clearly occupying both lots. It is commercial property.
While it doesn't specifically say so I think that we can assume, since it runs from one public road right of way to another, that the easement is to the public. The grantor is the plattor, and the beneficiary is the City of Auburn. It does say that it is for utility purposes. Presumably, there is a utility (very likely storm and/or sanitary sewer) buried in that strip of land. If you want to get rid of it you first have to determine what is buried there. If there is nothing then things get easier. Next, you have to provide an alternate service, suitable to the utility provider, over a route more to your liking. That means rebuilding whatever is there at your expense. Then the easement holder may release the easement. Ultimately public easements are released by resolution of city or county council.
This is the sort of thing that a civil engineering firm can lead you through. They will employ surveyors as needed. But be forewarned, you are looking well into 6 figures to get this done. If you are planning on redeveloping the property maybe it could all be done in conjunction with all the rest and not hurt so bad. But it isn't something you are going to do yourself casually by filling out some forms.
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Just to clarify, the lot lines have changed. The parcel I will be purchasing contains lots 5, 6 and a part of 7 so it does indeed go through the middle of the parcel. The plat map I’ve attached to my initial post does not reflect the new lot lines
That is something that has to be in the records somewhere. A document for the vacation of the original platted lots and estinquishing the easement or a new plat depicting the new platting. Assessors plats need to be taken with a grain of salt. Arbitrarily just taking them off without some documentation to back that up, doesn't mean that the original platting no longer exists. It is critical to determine if there are any utilities in that easement. sewer, water, buried power, buried telephone, TV cable, etc.
It looks like someone was permitted to improve the property with total disregard to this easement. Federal Way hasn't been incorporated for that long, so it was probably permitted by King County. Good luck in getting any information out of either one of them, about that...
Your best bet will be to hire a good Engineering/Survey firm in that area and let them search this out for you. Both Barghausen and ESM have been in this area for a long time and should be able to provide you with a solution.
EDIT-It looks like the health department has some information on past septic system permits. This might be a good place to start...
Go to this site and enter your parcel number:
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All due respect, this is a legal issue and you should consult a land use attorney for advice. You should also have a land surveyor, local if possible, review title and make a site visit. This real estate transaction warrants professional opinions and you should be able to justify the time and cost.
I note that there appears to be a King County Public Works survey for street improvements adjacent. And that the buildings that are on the property are greenhouses that may have been considered temporary in nature but have been in place since 1995. King County may be able to provide copies of permits and or site plans.
Dan Moehrke, PLS
Update - i contact both the City and County and both confirmed that they have no records showing that they have an interest in the easement. If i'm not mistaken, if a platted public utility easement is present on a plat map, wouldn't the grantee of the easement be the jurisdiction (city/county etc) in which the property is located? I asked Title and they had no other records of that easement other than what's showing in the plat map.