Exercise Caution Before Signing Agreements For Pipeline Easement

From the Herald Star:
BLOOMINGDALE - Some members of the legal community are warning property owners not to sell themselves short when it comes to natural gas pipeline easements.
William A. Goldman and Michael Braunstein of Columbus-based Goldman & Braunstein LLP, said the general public typically doesn't realize the impact a pipeline can have on the long-term value of their property.
"People might think a pipeline is going to be underground, so it won't be much of an issue," Braunstein said Wednesday prior to a landowners' meeting at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School. "We tell them as with any real estate transaction, they should get a second opinion."
The problem, Goldman said, is that a gas pipeline severely limits how a property can be used in future: Nothing can be built above it, nor can you plant trees on the site, though annual crops are permitted. There also are restrictions on heavy vehicles driving across the surface above the underground pipelines.
"A pipeline can really restrict your ability" to use the property, Braunstein said. "It causes problems with the land that's taken, also with the land that's not taken."
He said in some instances, the pipeline may well be placed "a few hundred feet from (a) home."
"Everybody tells you it's not dangerous, but the fact is, they do explode sometimes, sometimes they leak and sometimes the pipeline companies don't maintain them the way they ought to," he said. "It decreases the resale value of a house, sometimes significantly."
Read the rest of the article here.

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