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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
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Forget about the deed. Look up "eminent domain". The PoCo, ultimately, has the powers of government to place their stuff whereve they want to. If that means sticking a pole in the middle of your drive, too bad.

That's the state of the law. To be fair, PoCo's bring out this 'heavy club' only when absolutely necessary.

Likewise, one property owner cannot deny another access to his property. If that means adding a gate, digging a ditch, whatever... the legal history is there.

Think about it a moment ... do you know where your sewer and water lines are? Gas lines? Petroleum pipelines? Airport landing light feeders? And so on. For any of these, a property owner may not prevent the installation and maintenance.

As I mentioned before, this is an issue to be decided, in each circumstance, by different parties. The electrician is but a bystander.

Indeed, I'd say that the odds are that the PoCo will decide that two drops is acceptable in this instance- but it's their call to make.

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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,677
Likes: 9
G
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Eminent domain is a little more complicated than the PoCo simply dropping a pole wherever they like. If this is your driveway and they have an easement they have a lot of latitude but if there is no easement on the deed they will have to get the government involved and in most cases you can get compensation for that easement if you are willing to fight it. Easements for individual service to a dwelling may be harder to get.
You should be aware of any easements before you buy a piece of property, assuming you are doing due dilligence.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
D
New Member
Looking at the job again today,on the same street there are 14 houses 2 are single houses 2 are duplex(1 apt on 1st floor and 1 on 2nd floor) each of these have 1 power co drop.There are 10 duplex (left side and right side) with 2 power co drops per duplex, some of them have had upgrades at some point not to many years ago. (Hmmmmm why weren't they grouped or at least follow the 3ft clearance from the window ?)

Just blowing off.
Later Dave


Dave
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 167
B
Member
Townhouses/rowhouses in this area (Northern Virginia) have not been built with block "party" or "common" walls since at least before 1983.

The standard now is two 1" thick sheets of drywall. And nothing is supposed to penetrate that wall--not pipes, not cables, not the neighbor's electrical service...

Point is, there does not necessarily need to be a block wall for them to be considered two buildings (or 10 buildings, in the case of a typical row of townhouses).



[This message has been edited by brianl703 (edited 12-18-2006).]

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 13
J
Member
There is a big difference between a fire partition and a fire wall. 10 units with double 5/8 drywall between units is one building. Check the building code for definition of a building. The MA building code clearly defines it. I'm not sure exactly what ICC definition is.


John Erickson
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 167
B
Member
It's a double layer of 1" drywall with H-studs, not 5/8" of drywall. Described here:
http://www.nationalgypsum.com/resources/codereports/90-26.01.pdf

The units are completely independent of each other, sharing only the common wall. One of them across the street caught fire and had to be torn down to the ground. The units on either side continued to stand and were safe (they were not condemned) (although the common wall had to be protected with a tarp to prevent exposure to rain).

Virginia uses the IBC as I recall.

Each unit has it's own electrical service, if that wasn't clear.


[This message has been edited by brianl703 (edited 12-18-2006).]

[This message has been edited by brianl703 (edited 12-18-2006).]

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 13
J
Member
Brian,

I misunderstood, what you described is a fire wall. At least here in MA, though, that wall needs to extend 18" above the roof. All of the multi units here that I see are not separated by a fire wall, though. They are separated by a fire partition with a 2 hour rating.

John


John Erickson
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 167
B
Member
Here, instead of extending the wall through the roof, they just put 5/8" Type X drywall under the roof sheating for about 4 feet on each side of the party wall--prior to that they used FRT plywood for the roof sheating which had this unfortunate tendency to FALL APART over time. My mom had to get the roof redone on her townhouse because the FRT was failing.

Are those multi-units you see condominiums? Townhouses here are NOT usually condominiums(I don't know of any that are)--you own the house and the land.


[This message has been edited by brianl703 (edited 12-18-2006).]

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 152
A
Member
The correct legal term is an easement or servitude. Usually they work quite well. The POCO would request an easement from owner A through owner A's building to owner B. If owner A won't cooperate POCO can decide not to supply power to either owner, that usually makes owner A very cooperative. Utility easements are usually much more flexible than access or right-of-way easements as the easement is usually for the benefit of the person granting the easement.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,677
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G
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I still doubt the PoCo can force the first landowner to allow the 2d landowner's feeder to enter their home. The 2d landowner needs the service disconnect to be on HIS property. Otherwise the 1st landowner could make it unaccessible (fence, big dog or simply a "prosecute all trespassers" policy) They *might* be able to trench around the house and bury the SE to a farside disconnect but if there is ever a wet basement I bet the PoCo would get sued. An exposed SE running on the surface looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen. As long as the neighbors get along well it is no problem but when they start fighting it could really get ugly.


Greg Fretwell
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