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Posted on July 18, 2013

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1. How Much is it Worth?

The "Constitution" Pipeline company wants to negotiate easements with landowners. When you find out how little they offer, you might be disappointed.

At a meeting on February 21, 2013, in Deposit NY the pipeline company told landowners: We will make a one time payment based on the "fair market value" of the land within the easement.

Here’s how they calculate that "fair market value" of land within an easement...

 

Multiply the length of the easement, by the width of the easement (50 ft.), to get the square footage.
In the diagram above this would be 600 ft. x 50 ft. = 30,000 square ft.
2. Calculate what portion (percentage) of an acre the easement covers.
In this diagram it would be 30,000 square ft. ÷ 43,560 square ft. (the size of 1 acre) = 69% of an acre.
3. Multiply the price per acre that land is selling for in your area, by that percentage.
In this diagram the price per acre could be $5000. $5000 x 69% = $3,443.53
Therefore the "fair market value" of the easement in the diagram above would be $3,443.53

 

Other examples of easement values:

Length Width Square footage Price/Acre Fair Market Value
500 50 25,000 $2000 $1,147.84
1000 50 50,000 $2000 $2,295.68
500 50 25,000 $3000 $1,721.76
1000 50 50,000 $3000 $3,443.53
500 50 25,000 $5000 $2,869.61
1000 50 50,000 $5000 $5,739.21

 

There may be additional terms:

  • • In addition to the fair market value, the company may try to "sweeten the deal" by oering you more money for granting them an easement before they le an application.
  • • They may also oer another payment for trees cut, crops lost, and use of a construction easement. Here are some facts to consider:
  • • If you grant an easement before the company les an application to FERC, or before FERC certies the application, the easement can be sold to a third party.
  • • An easement becomes part of the title to your property, and is very dicult to remove.
  • • The company may acquire easements along the "alternate" routes, and later sell them to third parties, or use them for gathering or distribution pipelines.

Before you consider negotiating, ask yourself:

  • • How much is your land worth now?
  • • How much would your land be devalued with a 30-inch high-pressure gas pipeline buried on it?
  • • Would the monetary compensation for this easement be equal to the loss in your property’s value?
  • • Would your homeowner’s or liability insurance policies be aected if your property had a pipeline?
  • • If you have a mortgage, would the addition of a pipeline on your property put the mortgage at risk?
  • • In the future, how dicult would it be to sell your land if this pipeline was built?

If you don’t want a pipeline on your property, join with other landowners who are opposing it. Together we have a chance to win.

Seized Property eminent domain

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