Property Q&A in Los Angeles>Question Details

The Colonel, Home Owner in Los Angeles, CA

city has easement for underground storm water drain on vacant land which is now to be built on. can they build over or near this drain/easement? tnx

Asked by The Colonel, Los Angeles, CA Thu Jul 7, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


First thing you need to do is get a preliminary title report on the parcel. REQUEST THE UNDERLYING DOCS for ALL EASEMENTS. And then first you will have a good feeling if indeed there is an easement and if so which parts of the parcel get affected by it. You may also ask your title company to PLOT THE EASEMENTS IF POSSIBLE. This way you will see more accurately the areas affected by the various easements, "DO THEY HAVE A RIGHT OF ENTRY" and if any parts of the parcel are left for development. Some easements have maturity dates, or are not enforced since they were too old. You need to check that also through the engineering department of the agency which is the holder of the easement. You may ask them if you may purchase the easement right if a good potion of the parcel is affected. It is not necessary for you to disclose your plans for the parcel. You are at this time armend with enough information to know exactly what you are dealing with. Your final step should be to check with the city and see what their requirements are in regards to THIS specific parcel. Get everything in writing from the city.

Generally if the easement is extensive and affects a large portion of the parcel, and if the EASEMENT HOLDERS HAVE A "RIGHT OF ENTRY" (stipulated in the title & underlying docs) to this parcel and if you find out through them that they plan to exercise that right, then you should not build on the parcel, as it would be a grave risk for your investment. It is best to ask all agencies to provide you all infos in writing.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
You need to go to the Department of Building and Safety. They have offices in West LA, Van Nuys and Downtown.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
If in the City of L.A., dial 311 and they will transfer you to the correct department, most likely Building and Safety to start.

Renee' Kische
Keller Williams Realty-Hollywood Hills
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011
Hi Colonel:

You will need to go the Department o Building and Safety and also the Planning Department to determine the exact location of the drains and how deep they are underground. You will also need to submit plans for building that will need to be approved by them as well.

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 8, 2011
Melbourne Water must give consent for any structure to be built over or near any of its underground assets or easements.

•For information on underground pipes, cables or other assets, you can call Before You Dig on 1100 or visit .
Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
The right department to check with is Planning Department... it would be part of your plan approval... there is no standard answer for questions like this.

best of luck!

Ron Escobar, MBA
Broker & General Contractor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Easements are not buildable land. Near it, is another story. None of us can provide you with an accurate answer. Check with the city!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer