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Posted: 3/18/2013 6:29:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/18/2013 6:30:20 AM EDT by _DR]
Our family farm in West texas is not huge, about 280 acres, we recently were notified that Excel plans to put powerlines and pipelines on our land. We want to fight this as we feel it diminishes the value of our land and do not want to be forced to do anything with what is ours. We just got the packet with the maps, and the notice that if we do not agree to a settlement we will be force to comply under the rule of "convenience and need" for utilities or some such. They intrude completely onto the land and all the way accross with their planned power lines and pipelines.

Has anyone had any experience with this sort of headache? This is occuring in West Texas where our land is. Is this sort of thing winnable? Worth paying a lawyer for?


Thanks for any opinions.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:35:50 AM EDT
I have no experience with this, just what i remember reading about stuff like this over the years.

You will NOT be able to stop it. Your best bet is to try to negotiate free power for the land or natural gas, if it is a natural gas pipeline, on top of their offer.

It will happen one way or the other. Make sure it happens in way that YOU get the most out of it.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:43:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By _DR:
Our family farm in West texas is not huge, about 280 acres, we recently were notified that Excel plans to put powerlines and pipelines on our land. We want to fight this as we feel it diminishes the value of our land and do not want to be forced to do anything with what is ours. We just got the packet with the maps, and the notice that if we do not agree to a settlement we will be force to comply under the rule of "convenience and need" for utilities or some such. They intrude completely onto the land and all the way accross with their planned power lines and pipelines.

Has anyone had any experience with this sort of headache? This is occuring in West Texas where our land is. Is this sort of thing winnable? Worth paying a lawyer for?


Thanks for any opinions.

Yes it is winnable as I have done it.

The easiest way to fight it is to find them a different route for them. Of course running it across neighbors property instead is not exactly win/win. In my case neighbors grouped together and were able to find a route through flood plane land that nobody objected to.

Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:51:16 AM EDT
Email sent with Atty info!
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:54:02 AM EDT
how long have you owned the land?

were there utility easements on the plat maps when you purchased the land?

if you really want an attorney, pm me, there is an attorney in dallas that specializes in ID.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:55:34 AM EDT
I was discussing this subject with the guy who runs the cows across the road from me yesterday. He says the miserable excuse for a human being who has the property next to me is planning on fighting the Keystone pipeline which will run diagonal across all 3 properties, He says the only winners will be the attorneys.

You don't want to be like this.

Take their money. You have a landholder's bill of rights, which you will get multiple copies of. Hold their feet to the fire.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 11:05:45 AM EDT
I've done Power lines and Pipelines you can fight it but in the end they could still win, if you are the only one holding out, you won't stop them. Sorry, unless you have landowners for the next 2-5 miles saying no then it might work in your favor.

Best bet tell them where they can put, besides up their ass, and max them out on the money which I've seen as much as $30 a foot for easements. Try not to push too hard as they can just condemn the property and take it paying only what they are willing to give

I do the Survey for these companies’s and we get a lot of bitching our way. But we have no power over what they do. So please be nice to my fellow Surveyors we are just doing a job and can be of some help with the office. Ask for the Survey Coordinator and see what he might do for you.

If possible email me the name they give you I might know who it is and who they are working for.


I will help if I can.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 1:26:51 PM EDT
Good luck op.

Texas is spending a boat load of money building transmission in the West. It's to bring the thousands of wind megawatts from the wind farms into the load regions.

This is a project from the highest levels of ERCOT and the PUC.

You may be able to pull off a route change like Renegade, but I think you are gonna have a lot of weight against you on this.

Again, good luck.

TXL
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 4:14:01 PM EDT
There is a pipeline on the place I run.
They usually call before they come out .

The Co. I'm in fought high power lines and they were moved.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 5:32:04 PM EDT
This Must be the reason for the new power line towers I saw while coming back from New Mexico today on I10. They appeared to come all the way from Junction to Kerrville.

Good advice in here. ID is likely going to win out in the long run, but if they can compensate you somehow, its not that big of a deal in my opinion.


...think of it this way. You have HUGE lightning rods to help protect your house.

A negative would be those that are HAM operators for sure, however I have pretty high power lines next to me and I Don't notice it on HF.

Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:05:03 PM EDT
What would happen if you put up your own wind mill? Create a wind farm, your own utility company?

Sure it's several million $, but talking about throwing in a monkey wrench.

Solar?
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:12:45 PM EDT
Its a matter of how much of your money you want to spend to fight it vs how much they will pay you to let them do it. Reality is, unless it is crop land or a subdivision, they are not likely to hurt the value. If it's ranch land and not much else, it will be expensive to find make a judge sympathetic. Depending on the area, it could increase the value.

If you really want to fight it, find neighbors to go in with you and start writing checks.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:27:25 AM EDT
A pipeline right of way won't increase your property value. It will increase your bank account. Around here, they're paying $900/rod.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 8:58:11 AM EDT
I wouldn't get too worked up about it, just pocket whatever funds you can from it and work with them on friendly terms to ensure that the route is along the least impactful path. I own some property that has a nat gas transmission pipeline crossing it, it's at the very back of a deep lot, underground and just about entirely irrelevant. A couple times a year the pipeline company sends a crew along the route (~25' wide) to mow and clear brush and that's about it. Once in the 15 years I've owned the property they had a crew out to dig and do a repair on the pipeline and when they were done they reseeded and you couldn't tell anything had happened in a few weeks. Their regular inspections are from the inside of the pipeline with a "smart pig" inspection probe so there isn't any regular activity. They also don't care if you put fences up as long as there is a gate they can access, put sheds on top of the route as long as they can be moved with heavy equipment if needed, etc. It really has very little impact to your use of the proerty or it's value.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 3:19:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2013 3:23:01 PM EDT by TinLeg]
I wouldn't worry too much about a pipeline. It will be buried, and will provide a convenient path through your property. They're great to sit on during hunting season.


That said, be sure to get your pound of flesh. Improve your roads. Nice gates with multiple lock systems. Push gates. Cattle guards. Etc.


If it's natural gas they should be able to provide nat-gas to your house. Take advantage and replace any electrical appliance with nat-gas burning ones. They may want to place a compressor station on your property, be sure to find out. If so, (and you decide not to fight it) make sure they are contractually obligated to put the quietest muffler available on the engines. OR use electric motors on the compressor station.

A natural gas line could be a benefit - depending what you can get out of them.


Agree the power lines could be an eyesore.



Link Posted: 3/19/2013 3:31:51 PM EDT
Unless you have a really big property power lines aren't likely to mean more than two poles on your property, transmission lines are ACSR and have really long spans. You're mostly looking at some shadows moving across the ground during the day.
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