Just had a strange conversation with PG&E about an illegal pole on my property

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Sorry, but your math doesn't come close to adding up. Let's take a person making $80K, with a house, 2 kids. They are probably paying around 20% in income tax, or $16K. Somewhere around 6% of the $80K goes to SS tax. That leaves around $59K. Many states have their own unemployment or income taxes that further reduce that, but let's leave that out. Let's say he saves $4k of it, and another $8K goes for local property taxes, mortgage interest,credit card interest, etc. You aren't proposing to tax mortgage interest as a purchase, are you? That leaves around $47K that he can actuall spend on goods and services in the economy. Taxing that at your 23% rate, yields $11K. And then you want to give everyone money back to offset the impact, so give him $3K, and now you're down to $8K net that he's sending the FEDS instead of $16K. Where's the difference coming from? Somehow I don't believe there's enough to come from spending by illegal immigrants working at $8/hr off the books to make up for it.
Additionally, it gets much, much worse when you move up the income scale. Those taxpayers are today carrying the heavy load and paying the vast majority of income tax. Unless you think the guy making $1mil is going to go out and spend it all, your system just gets worse. At today's income tax rate, he's paying probably over 30%, or $300K in income tax. At 23% of spending, he'd have to spend more than he makes to generate the same revenue.
If you have some credible economic analysis that shows a 23% sales tax would work, I'd love to see it.

You can't even offset income tax with a sales tax rate of anyhwhere near 23% and you want it to pay SS tax too?

It's simpler, that's for sure. But like I said, if you do the math and figure out the rate required, you may think otherwise.
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You said the poles are on an easement its just the wire thats a problem.. lots of luck on this
Jimmie
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Yeah, the story has changed a bit hasn't it? On top of the pole being on a legal easement, he also says the wires cross his property near the border. I wonder exactly how far beyond the easement they extend onto his property? Wouldn't surprise me if it's 2 ft. He wants tens of thousands of dollars for whatever the encroachment is. If everyone got that, imagine how much electricity would cost.
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On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 20:29:03 -0800, Smitty Two wrote:

It's rural. And hilly. And very forested. Lots of acres.
BTW, I didn't "think" to notice the pole. The pole is near the street. The wires cross the property near the border. The recent survey clued me in to the fact that the wires were actually on my property.
It's more I didn't think about it than I didn't "see" it.
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 10:58:34 -0800, Smitty Two wrote:

My assumption is based on the fact that there is no underlying easement that allows that pole and it's overhanging wires.
I just got off the phone with the title company who said I can submit a claim to them if PG&E refuses to move the pole and if I have a use for the land under the wires.
I spoke earlier with PG&E who said only that if the pole has no easement then they will ask me what I want to do to correct the situation (they were extremely vague).
I was just looking for ideas of how best to handle this from you guys. And, if anyone knows the value of a "power line easement", that they would tell me their experience (I have no idea if it's worth one dollar or one hundred thousand dollars, for example).
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wrote Re Re: Just had a strange conversation with PG&E about an illegal pole on my property:

The value of the easement is determined by what "enjoyment" of your land is lost by the presence of the pole & lines. IOW, how are you inconvenienced by their presence? The more "enjoyment" you forgo, the more costly the easement.
Since you didn't really notice (any negative impact) for several months, be prepared for PGE to argue that it doesn't have much of an impact on you.
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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Easement cost can very widely. As a rule of thumb you might use one fourth of the value of the land. The pole is in the street and okay. Moving the wires is not going to cost much so the power co. is unlikely to want to pay for an easement. You can ask nicely that they move them and they probably will. Might mean that they will add a anchor to that pole you don't like.
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The way to 'handle' the situation is to first determine that there is indeed no easement. If there isn't then ask/require them to move the wires. That's what they want you to do. The hassle and cost of determining that there is no easement is all your's. If you don't do that they have no problem at all, just some complaining from you, so why should they do anything?
Moving the wires would require at least relocating one pole, maybe adding one pole. Estimate $1,000 for materials and 4 hours of equipment at $100/hr, 2 men for 4 hours = 8 manhours at $50/hour and it may cost them about $1800 to move the wires. They could offer you half that, $900, to save themselves the trouble. They would have additional expense of legal and title fees to ensure any easement that buys them is properly done. So they would not be any money ahead if they offered you $900. To make it better from their standpoint they may offer much less. I doubt you'd get much over the $500 to $1,000 range. If I was them I'd just move the wires and have it done with - a lot less office time and bother. They won't do anything at all though if you don't start the process.
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On Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:02:44 +0000, Reno wrote:

I loved your analysis. Since it's not in the tens of thousands range, I'll stick with the "please remove it".
The title company and I have determined there is no underlying easement (although the pole itself is covered by the roadway easement).
So, I'll write them a letter, telling them the pole and wires have no underlying easement and that we need to "discuss" the matter. They will probably counter with the pole having an easement but the wires not having an easement - and then we'll see what happens.
Thanks for all the ideas. This is wholly new stuff to me!
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Good idea. Start of the process with a letter that is a lie. I'm having less and less empathy for you the more I learn....
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On Sat, 15 Jan 2011 06:07:22 -0800, trader4 wrote:

Where is the lie?
There is no easement for the pole that I know of. The only possible (maybe even probable) easement is the road ROW which I don't have so I don't know what the road ROW is. The pole is definitely on my property.
As for the wires, there is no underlying easement for it either. That the title company is certain of because, unlike the pole, there is no easement whatsoever under the area where the wires to the neighbor's house are routed.
Where, may I ask, is the lie you speak of?
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This is what you stated:
"Yes. I bought the property within the year. It's rural. There's not another home within hundreds of yards, and it's all wooded. The pole is near the main street (within the easement of the main road) but the wires cut over my property. "
"The title company and I have determined there is no underlying easement (although the pole itself is covered by the roadway easement). "
Then you said:
"So, I'll write them a letter, telling them the pole and wires have no underlying easement and that we need to "discuss" the matter. "
That looks like a lie to me, especially since you stated that the pole was covered by the roadway easement, but given all the apparent confusion here, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Apparently what you wrote is not what you meant.

That was kind of my point. You're preparing to write a letter stating that there is no easement for the pole, when in fact, you don't know what the existing easement for the road allows for. And I'd agree with the assessment that it is in fact probable that the 30ft road easement provides for utilities.

I think a few people have asked this now:
Exactly how far over into your property do these wires extend and how far do they then run?
I'm kind of picturing a situation where they they cut a few feet into a corner of your property as they go from the street over to the neighbors house. If that's what it is and
A - it's a large buildable lot B- it would have no material impact on what you can do with the property C - it isn't a big eyesore that diminishes the value of the lot D - there are similar wires/poles in the rest of the neighborhood so it doesn't stand out as an ugly wart
then maybe if you're nice to them, you can get them to move it. But if it goes beyond that, IMO you're in a losing battle. If it turns out that they do have the right to use the road easement, I'd start drawing mental images of how the "problem" could be fixed by the electric company putting an even bigger and uglier pole within their allowed easement area.
As for tens of thousands in payment to leave it where it is, IMO, you can forget about that. If utilities handed out money like that, we'd be paying 2X for electric. And I suspect, that's how a court would view this as well. We all need electricity and one day, if you build there, you will need it too. A service wire encroaching a few feet over a corner of a lot might get you a few hundred bucks. Even when they put up high tension towers over a portion of a property, you'd be surprised how little the utilites are willing to pay.
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Not clear here but it "sounds" like the pole is on the public ROW and only the wires cross the property. That would complicate the 'easement' problem as you have lost no useable land and the wires probably do not affect your use of the property in any reasonable way.
We recently had a case here where the local power company wanted to replace a power line crossing a field with a "High Line". Original easement was in the 40s for the usual type construction (wood pole, not all that higher, etc.). Power co thought they could just replace the line with huge steel towers, very tall and multiple conductors for very high voltage feed to a substation. Nope. That prevented the land owner from using aerial application of pesticides and fertilyzers. End result was they had to repurchas the ROW at a very high cost.
Harry K
Later down thread people are talking about 'moving the wires'. That will obviously mean moving the pole no matter where it is located.
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On Fri, 14 Jan 2011 08:35:18 -0800, Harry K wrote:

Yup. Most likely (according to the title company).

According to the title company, that's not an issue (of course, that's up to the courts to decide). The title company said that I could put in a "claim" to them if it costs me money to relocate the wires, if they "missed" an easement, or if I have costs associated with an easement that they missed.
Since there is no easement (that we know of), then I'm expecting the power company to relocate the wires. Where or how they relocate them isn't my issue as long as it's not over my property.
I didn't see this reply until now, but, the title company didn't say anything about losing "use of the land", so, I hope that's not a factor.
Thanks for the ideas!
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Sadly what you want and what the law allows are two totally separate things...
1. Did you purchase this house with the wires already routed over/across/through the back yard?
(If you did and you are complaining about it now, rather than at the time of sale when you should have asked about it, is like complaining that there is an increase of traffic on a rail spur line that abuts your property... The rail line [in your case a pole and wires] existed before you owned the property and the appropriate time for your objection has come and gone and if you want it moved at this point you would have to pay for all of the costs involved with that because you failed to do your bona fides and properly determine that the wire in dispute had no specific easement prior to purchase...)
2. How long have you owned the property in question?
3. How far into your property do the wires extend?
(Zoning law usually prohibits zero-lot line construction, so you will own land that you can not build on, if the wires cross an un-buildable portion of your site because of the setback requirements, then you have no loss or damage that you can claim...)
Are you really willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars filing a lawsuit in land court over this with a lawyer who specializes in such cases over a wire which slightly crosses over your "land" near a utility/roadway ROW? If you lose the case you will have to pay the legal costs of the utility companies and that can be much more than you will spend on your lawyers...
You should have brought up this objection at the time you purchased the property prior to the close of the sale... You bought into it knowing that the wires were there without obtaining any actual proof that no easement existed... Like Harry K. mentioned above you have no reasonable impact or hindrance on your use of the lot... The "preference" to not have wires crossing over your land is something that if you want to realize is something that you will have to pay for... $10,000 for a crew to relocate the poles and wires needed to move them from over your lot to fully exercise what may be non-existant "air rights" (how tall are structures allowed to be on your lot by zoning law) is something which you would need to pay the full cost for...
$10,000 to relocate the pole and wires is a sure thing... Or you could pay that as a retainer for a lawyer to take on your case and see ballooning legal fees and endure a two year wait before your land court case goes to trial...
Remember the title insurance will cover you for actual costs to deal with this issue AFTER THE FACT... Do you really want to be paying commercial interest rates on a loan you took to pay off your legal costs and wait MORE months while you deal with the title insurance claim before you are reimbursed?
Good Luck...
My advice is to just "lump it" and deal with the wires where they are... You could be opening a Pandora's Box where you quickly lose control over what you have put into motion... All because you would rather not have a wire intrude into your yard...
~~ Evan
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On Fri, 14 Jan 2011 21:26:43 -0800 (PST), Evan

Does the utility have a right of way easement for their wires that come to your buildings? Where is this right of way easement recorded and what is the exact language it uses? Where does this public easement for the road begin and end and what does it specifically allow/disallow? Where does the "meets and bounds" survey you bought the land with show this easement? If no "meets and bounds" where is the subdivision plat recorded and what is in the recorded covenants?
The above checks may provide you with an answer to some of your uncertainties.
--
Mr.E

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On Jan 15, 6:47am, snipped-for-privacy@totally.invalid wrote:

He has said it is in a remote area of a large acrage, the pole is not even on his property and only the wires cross a small area.
Bottom line.
1. He will be laughed out of court on any legal filing he makes.
2. The pole/wire owners is not going to spend any time over the matter, the pole/wires are not going to be moved
3. Even if not recorded if the wires have been there enough years, a "presumptive easement" exists, i.e., the owners did not object to it therefore the easement is there by "squatters rights"
4. The pole/wire owners may pay a pittance to get rid of a nuisance although that is dubious as it establishes a legal acknowledgement of 'harm'.
Harry K
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If you read the thread, he said he doesn't know, because he only noticed the wire issue recently. And he never said it's through the back yard.

He stated he's owned it less than a year.

That is a good question indeed.

That's not true. Just because a portion of a lot is unbuildable doesn't mean someone can put up wires across that portion without an easement. And if an easement is needed, the economics of the easement are based on how it affects the rest of the property, not soley on whether he can build on it. Someone in this thread gave a good example, where there was a property zoned for agriculture and the electric company wanted to use an existing easement, replacing low wood poles with high tension wires. They wound up having to pay a substantial amount, because it changed the property in a significant way, including that aerial spraying of crops would no longer be possible.

You think maybe before it comes to that he should take his own advice and send the electric company a letter telling them the wires are there without an easement and see what their response is? He even stated that the electric company, after looking into it a bit, asked him to do that. It's not like they told him to kiss offf.

You think maybe before it comes to that he should take his own advice and send the electric company a letter telling them the wires are there without an easement and see what their response is?

Clairvoyant?
You think maybe before it comes to that he should take his own advice and send the electric company a letter telling them the wires are there without an easement and see what their response is?

So now you know his financial position too. You are clairvoyant.
It's also not clear to me that the title company will only deal with this after the fact. That's like saying an auto insurance policy will only pay or get involved after the party I've hit has sued me and won. In fact, just like with auto insurance it's in the interest of the title company to get involved and figure out what is going on from the beginning, so they don't wind up with an even bigger claim.

You think maybe before it comes to that he should take his own advice and send the electric company a letter telling them the wires are there without an easement and see what their response is?
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How long have you lived there???
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On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 20:05:10 -0800, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

six months
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