An easement is a right of use by one party over the property of another party, sometimes for a specific purpose. For Storm Water Services, easements are property interests which document the conditions under which Storm Water Services has permission to enter an easement area on private property to repair drainage issues and/or perform on-going maintenance. A storm drainage easement is a recorded, legal document which describes easement boundaries and any conditions and restrictions related to the permission granted by the property owner to Storm Water Services. Under the easement, the property owner is the grantor and the City (or other applicable municipality through Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services) is the grantee.
Is an easement necessary to fix storm water issues?
Unlike some municipalities in North Carolina, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services may address storm water issues on private property when a storm drainage easement approved by Storm Water Services is granted for that specific reason. Until an easement has been executed and recorded at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds office by Storm Water Services, maintenance of any portion of a storm drainage system on private property remains the legal responsibility of the property owner.
If I grant an easement, is it still my property?
Yes. An easement does not give or take away property. An easement is a property right granting permission by one party to another party for access to property for a specific reason. However, there are certain restrictions for drainage easements accepted by Storm Water Services and so that the area can function as it is designed. For example, in a storm drainage easement, the flow of water cannot be blocked by the property owner and buildings, swimming pools, walls and other structures are not allowed within the easement area.