Grant Administration: Section 9.6 Easements and URA Requirements

Easements provide “rights-of-way” access that may be permanent or temporary. Permanent and temporary easements are acquisitions that are subject to URA provisions. Grantees must determine whether the acquisition of the easement is considered a voluntary, involun4tary, or donation acquisition. Then, the grantee should adhere to the applicable acquisition procedures imposed by URA. Easements, both temporary and permanent, are only very rarely considered voluntary. Once a project is planned or designated project site selected, it is generally a site-specific acquisition requiring that involuntary acquisition procedures be used.

Temporary easements have one exception that exempts them from the same rules as other forms of acquisition. The exception is a situation where the easement is for the exclusive benefit of the property owner. For example, if a grantee obtained a temporary easement for parking construction equipment in the yard of the home that is being rehabilitated with CDBG funds, the easement would exclusively benefit the owner and would not be subject to the URA.

Examples of easements in which the URA applies include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Installing a new water or sewer line and requires easements from property owners along the path of the line to install the line and ensure access for maintenance and repairs over time, permanent easements will be required.
  • Building a water tower that would benefit a low- and moderate-income (LMI) area and a temporary right of way will be required for construction vehicles while it is being built, temporary easement will be required.
    • A grantee must obtain an appraisal for any property, including easements, estimated to be worth more than $10,000. The grantee may also seek a donation from property owners to acquire easements that do not solely benefit the property owner. Guidance on appraisals and just compensation for easements and rights-of-way as well as potential steps to seek donations of such easements may be found later in this chapter. See Section 9.7 Appraisals and Just Compensation.

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