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Who Maintains The Canal?

Discussion in 'Easements & Right of Way Law' started by Adverse, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Florida
    There are 15 residential canals in our immediate area, each shown on several different recorded subdivision Plat Maps. Under "Easement Description", one of them reads "There is hereby expressly reserved for the County an easement of 20 feet along the rear lot lines of all lots for canal maintenance." That was signed by the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and The County attorney at the time of recording.

    Only one of them says that.

    Would you consider that the intention was for the County to maintain that canal?

    Thanks.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    What anyone BUT the county thinks is irrelevant.

    When you asked the CORRECT person in county government, what were you told?

    Most counties in the USA have elected county commissioners.

    Have you spoken to yours?
     
  3. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Can you hear me laughing? Crying?

    Over four years I have pursued this with every County official (and others), from the bottom up to our Commissioner. Funny, when I got to the Commissioner, he passed me back to the people who had been stonewalling me for four years. My efforts, and their responses, are much, much more than that simple statement, but that's the short of it.

    At the end of each of my efforts, their answer has been that the County never did what they need to do to accept our canal for maintenance, whatever that means, and they will not help us in any way. Streets and waterways in our County are managed and financed through MSBUs and MSTDs. (Municipal Services Benefits Units and Municipal Services Taxing Districts). They refused to do that for our canal.

    I have not presented the wording of our Plat to them. I see that as our last resort, so want to get a feel for it first.

    By the way, even though the County says they have not "accepted" our canal, if you want to put a dock in it on our property line, the County requires permitting, and codes, and inspections. They require that for breathing!
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Government, all forms of government, have been a continuing bane and drain on mankind's progress.

    Government is the biggest criminal on the planet.
    One need only investigate the biggest Ponzi scam in history, social INsecurity to understand just how crooked governments are.

    Again, what more evidence do you need to stay out of their court system.

    Negotiate and settle with the other party.
    Don't allow THEM to steal more of your money fromby trusting THEM to mediate (perhaps adjudicate) disputes.

    Beyond the corruption and graft, look at how much time this has wasted.

    Time, by the way, is the most precious commodity we use, yet never possess.
    Its so precious, we can't buy it.
    We all have time, yet none of us knows how much time has been allocated to each of us.

    Protect your time, stay as far away from government in all of its various manifesttions if you value your precious time.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Here's a simple solution that won't likely take another 4 years.

    Don't maintain the canal. When you get fined refuse to pay. When you get taken to court, ask the judge to rule on who has to maintain the canal.
     
    army judge likes this.
  6. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    The first part "don't maintain the canal" has been easy.

    No one is going to get "fined" for not maintaining the canal.

    Maybe I didn't say what I wanted to say the right way in the OP.

    If there are 15 canals, and only one of them has recorded easements "expressly reserved for the County to do canal maintenance," doesn't that suggest something different regarding that canal? I am interested in what a Court might think.

    "Expressly" means "for a specific purpose, solely".
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    My interpretation:

    The County "reserves" that 20' strip for canal maintenance but nothing in that sentence obligates the County to actually maintain the canals.
     
  8. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Yeah, sure, but it seems strange that that would be in the Plat for one canal, and not 14 others. If they didn't want to maintain the canal(s), it seems logical to not include that in all of the Plats.

    I agree with you, but I still think a Court might lean in favor of the County intending to maintain that particular canal that had the wording the the Plat. More so, at least, than if the wording was not there.

    An afterthought, since "expressly" means "soley", by that wording only the County could use those easements, or only the County could maintain the canal, depending on interpratation.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Why is this an issue?

    Does the canal look like sleeping beauty's castle after 100 years?

    Is the county telling you to maintain it?
     
  10. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Because it has become "silted in" and has vegetation that needs to be removed. The DEP has given permission to dredge it to 5 feet of depth at LMT. It is a residential saltwater canal that provides access to the bay and then to the Gulf.

    County doesn't give a ratsass.

    100_1238.JPG

    PS: That is a 50-foot wide canal!

    From Post #3: Streets and waterways in our County are managed and financed through MSBUs and MSTDs. (Municipal Services Benefits Units and Municipal Services Taxing Districts). They refused to do that for our canal.
     
  11. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Seems to me your options are limited.

    1 - Leave it alone.

    2 - Litigate against the County. Chances of success are slim and you'll spend 10s of thousands.

    3 - Clean up your section of the canal as nice as you can make it without spending too much money.
     
  12. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    I tried to get it cleaned up for 4 years. I have not (quit) for 1 year. I just looked at all of the Plat last month, out of curiosity.

    I am not a bulldog . . . but I am a yappy little SOB that won't let of your pant leg.

    You live on a canal?

    Manage a canal?

    Dredge a canal?

    Just curious.
     
  13. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Here's the frustration of the 30 property owners I am trying to get something done for, something I have done for a group of property owners before:

    We are not asking for something for nothing; we are not asking the County to come in and take care of our canal.

    There is a system in the County for handling this. There are already 8 waterway MSBUs, and all of the roads in the County are managed and financed through MSBUs and MSTDs.

    The mechanism is already there. All we are asking is for the County to use it.

    Some things are better handled by government bodies than by private individuals. Can you imagined how difficult it would be for us to set up the same thing privately, to form a private corporation to manage the canal, and a method to tax property owners to fund it? I doubt that we even could legally, since none of us own any of the canal.
     
  14. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    And the County says no.

    So what do you do next?

    Keep "yapping" or get the 30 property to pony up some money for litigation?
     
  15. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Because, when there is a system in place to handle precisely these things (MSBU and MSTD), that seems the logical way to do it.

    Doing nothing works, too, for now. That saves us $7000 that we would pay a local contractor to build a dock. and "park" our boat elsewhere
     
  16. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    In our "other" area, in 2004 I got our private road turned over to County. 30 property owners there, too. Had to raise $60,000 to upgrade the roadbed.

    Not everyone was onboard, but the important one, our Commissioner was. Ours was the last road they "adopted".

    Was it worth 17 months of my effort, the "out-of-pocket" costs I paid for the "campaign", and all the special interests I had to deal with?

    Yes, any time you leave things better than you found them, regardless of how hard it is, it's worth it.
    - - - - - -
    In our current situation . . . well, there are canals, lots of canals, they need to be maintained, so there needs to be a way to accomplish that. Face it, deal with it, develop an ongoing program so it will be dealt with in the future.
     
  17. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Then I wish you the same success in this endeavor that you had in the previous endeavor.
     
  18. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    I'm surprised you suggested that. Since this is a legal forum, I'm surprised you didn't advise exactly the opposite, to not mess with anything that does not belong to me.
     
  19. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I didn't "suggest" anything. I listed three possible options that occurred to me and left it up to you to do what you think is best.
     

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