Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Real Estate / Easements

Property Easements for PUD System Improvements

Thousands of miles of wires, and hundreds of miles of pipes, carry electricity and water to customers served by Snohomish County PUD.

In order to provide our customers efficient and reliable service, the PUD may need easements on private property. An easement secures the PUD's ability to operate our facilities, manage vegetation and make future system improvements to keep power and water flowing.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about easements for property owners.

The PUD will:

  • Work with you in good faith and in an ethical manner.
  • Compensate you fairly for the PUD’s use of your property.

What you can expect:

You’ll have a PUD right-of-way agent to work with you throughout the process. Steps generally include:

  • The PUD makes initial contact with you.
  • The PUD provides an easement offer package to you.
  • You review the easement package.
  • You sign our easement document(s) in presence of a notary public.
  • The PUD pays you for the easement.
  • The PUD records the easement document(s) with the county.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an easement?

An easement is a right held by one property owner or entity to use the land of another owner for a limited purpose. An easement holder has an interest in the property for the specified use but does not own the land. Easements are perpetual and are commonly granted for uses such as access, utilities and trails.

Why does the PUD need easements?

When little or no room exists within public rights-of-way, the PUD may need to locate electric and/or water facilities on private property. An easement secures the PUD’s long-term ability to access the property, operate its facilities, manage vegetation and make future system improvements to keep power and water flowing to customers.

How will the PUD use my property?

The PUD will place facilities on or near your property. From time to time, PUD crews may access these facilities or manage vegetation on or from your property. The PUD will take reasonable steps to minimize interference with your enjoyment of your property and will take care to restore any disturbance caused by PUD crews’ access.

What restrictions are placed on my property by signing an easement?

Generally, you may make any use of your property that does not interfere with safe operation and maintenance of the PUD’s facilities, access or safe use of the easement area. The PUD’s easements restrict structures and some vegetation from being located within the easement area. You can contact a PUD right-of-way agent to learn more about what is and is not allowable within the easement area. (See contact info to the right.)

Always be sure to call 811 before digging on or near a utility easement. It's required by law. If your digging accidentally severs or damages a power line, you are responsible for paying for all repairs.

Will I be paid for granting an easement?

Generally, the PUD will compensate you for use of your property in exchange for granting the PUD an easement. Our offer to you will be based on the fair market value of your property and the nature of our use. In cases where a property owner’s personal request for power requires an easement, the PUD does not offer compensation.

What happens if I do not want an easement on my property?

The PUD’s system improvements serve the common good by meeting the public need for safe, affordable and reliable energy and water. In rare instances where a property owner will not grant an easement and there is no viable alternative, the PUD may use its condemnation authority. Condemnation allows a court to grant the PUD the rights we are seeking and determine fair compensation owed by the PUD to the property owner.

How do I complain about the condition of PUD property?

Dumping of yard waste, garbage, overgrown vegetation, abandoned vehicles, graffiti, illegal signs, and homeless encampments are prohibited on PUD property. If you have a complaint about any of these items, please email propertymanagement@snopud.com.