My neighborhood wants a walkway installed on our street, but an easement will be necessary to accommodate a walkway on my property. What is an easement and what are my rights as a property owner?
An easement is basically the right to use property that the town does not own. Easements are typically needed for walkways where the road right of way is not wide enough to accommodate both a road and a walkway within its legal limits. When a walkway is built in that situation, the town must seek legal permission from the owner to use or improve a specific piece of the property. By granting permission, the owners let the public walk over the property on that walkway.
The easement process can only begin when the engineering of a walkway is complete and the amount of land needed is determined. Once an easement is granted, it will be registered as part of that property owner’s deed.
Typically there are questions from property owners when an easement is asked of them. The more typical questions include the issue of liability and if the property owner will be paid for the easement. The Town assumes liability for the construction and maintenance of the walkway and does not pay the owner for easements.