Easement answers available Monday in Port

  • Nov. 27, 2013 6:00 p.m.

Port Clements property owners who have questions about a village-requested easement can drop by the village office on Monday (Dec. 2) between 5 and 7 pm, and get answers from administrator Kim Mushynsky. Council members decided to hold the two-hour session after hearing that there has been much confusion and concern from owners along Bayview Drive since the village sent out letters earlier this month, asking for an easement over the strip of private property where the town sewer line runs. “I’ve been invited to have coffee with five different people this week,” mayor Wally Cheer said at the Nov. 21 council meeting. “Several people thought we were taking property away from them… People are talking to their neighbours and they’re passing on information that is not correct. Everybody is becoming more and more confused.” Council members discussed the possibility of holding a town hall-style public meeting on the issue, but decided it made more sense to hold an informal question and answer opportunity on Monday. Administrator Kim Mushynsky said the easement is basically a housekeeping issue, and corrects a mistake that was made about 30 years ago. The easement that the village needs is about 10 feet wide, she said, and would allow public works to access the sewer line if they need to repair it. It’s possible that access would never be required, she said, but the easement should be there just in case. About 26 properties are affected. All are along Bayview Drive, where the sewer line runs near the shoreline. In response to a list of questions sent in by one of the affected property owners, Cheri Brooks, Ms Mushynsky said once in place, the easements should have no effect on property taxes or property value, and will not interfere with anyone’s ability to access the shoreline part of their property. It does mean that owners probably shouldn’t put permanent structures on top of the sewer line, she said. “Once you agree to the easement, you agree to let us have access to it,” she said, if required. The error was discovered after a 30-year licence of occupation that the village had for the sewer line expired last year. Ms Mushynsky said it’s difficult to figure out what happened in the early 1980s, but it appears that at some point, someone may have neglected to complete the entire process to register the village’s interest in the sewer line. That interest was not registered as owners bought the properties. “There are several different ways the ball could have been dropped,” Mr. Cheer said. “It happened 30 years ago.”