I live in Bothell, WA. About 6 months ago Snohomish PUD asked me to sell them a 10' easement across the front of my 2.48 acre property. They sent a contract for me to sign for $1800. I said NO. Then they sent one for $3800 for arial rights only and I said NO. I heard nothing back. Yesterday when I got home from work there were several pink tags on the inside of my property approximately 10' from the line that say "Wetland Delineation". There are also stakes along the road in front of my property that say "ROW". I feel like they are somehow related and am wondering if the county has the authority to declare my private property a wetland and take easement rights.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
DId you attend the public meetings? Did you have your lawyer object as requested?
More details are needed. Speak this out with your lawyer.
The PUD may surveying in preparation for a condemnation action and they would have had to deterime the conditions and the wetland deliniation will help them lower the value paid.
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Real Estate Attorney
Without going into particulars, governmental authorities have the right under a theory called "eminent domain" to take private property that would serve a better public purpose, like safety. However, they must pay you fair market value for what they are taking. You should actively participate in this process, which usually requires public meetings.
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Land Use / Zoning Attorney
You raise a number of interesting questions. The PUD and Snohomish County are separate entities, with different powers. Both have the power to condemn interests in land, such as an easement or air rights for a project demonstrated to serve a public interest, as a previous answer indicated. Either entity would generally first try to reach an agreement with the property owner. If the property owner and the County or PUD cannot reach an agreement, the County or PUD may condemn the interest it needs, but must demonstrate the need and compenate the owner. Compensation is generally based on the difference in the value of the property before and after the property interest is "taken." With some exceptions, neither a County or PUD has the right to enter your property without your consent. The County does have the authority to determine whether your property contains a wetland, but this question would usually arise when someone seeks a permit to do something on the property that involves land disturbance.