As your Board of Directors explained at the 2015 Labor Day Shareholders meeting, we have been researching the easements rights held by the company throughout our Alta Sierra development for the water system. The Company was formed in 1949 for the purpose of providing a reliable cost efficient water supply to the residents of Alta Sierra Tracts 1 and 2. The Company currently provides water to 224 active connections via seven horizontal wells and 5 miles of water lines. Some of the original water lines installed in the 1920’s are still in service, and some are in need of repair and replacement. We continually face new challenges and the Company needs your help, as lot owners, to insure a reliable water supply into the future.
In modern subdivisions, utility lines are commonly placed within the road way. Alta Sierra is not a modern subdivision. The lots within Tracts 1 and 2 are subject to broad utility easements to lay, repair, construct and operate pipelines and conduits over and upon, under and across, each lot for the purpose of conveying water to all owners within the subdivision. These are sometimes referred to as “floating easements” because there was no specific location identified when they are created. The location of the easement becomes the location where, in this case, the water line is placed. We all rely on these easements to allow water service to be provided to one another.
New construction and expanding septic systems are threatening the future of our water system. To protect the integrity of the existing system and ensure that the Company has the ability to install new water lines in the future, we developed a policy governing protection of the Company’s water system easements so that we have guidance in the Company’s relationship with lot owners, and lot owners know how to help the Company maintain and operate our common water system.
Here is the policy we developed;
1. Markers: Most water lines running across lots within Tracts 1 and 2 are located along the lot lines and are marked. Please do not remove or disturb the markers.
2. Construction: Before a lot owner commences any new construction, the lot owner should contact the Company’s Manager to understand the location of the existing water system, any planned expansion of the system and minimum set-back requirements. If a lot owner builds within the water line easement, the lot owner may be required, at the Company’s discretion, to remove any encroachments at the lot owner’s expense. This is because the Company must have access to our water lines for maintenance, repair or replacement.
All shareholders are affected (e.g., pipeline relocation costs or increased access costs) if the Company cannot easily access a water line because a lot owner has built over it causing an encroachment upon the Company’s easements. So the Company must be vigilant for the benefit of all shareholders to ensure that lot owners do not encroach upon Company water lines. Our desire is to allow lot owners to make full use of their lots, but must balance that with protecting the integrity of the water system that belongs to all of us. We appreciate your help in this effort.
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