The Question Should be “Am I Getting the Fairest Offer”
Think about it a Rod is a unit of measure of 16.5 feet. That is linear feet. When an easement is sought by negotiation or by eminent domain, they are not seeking a line. Typically, they are seeking a zone with the rod merely as the middle. For example, a rod with a 50′ easement zone requires 825 square feet. If an easement is 50 rods long, that is almost an acre.
In a recent case, a pipeline company paid some owners $180 per rod and others $767 per rod for the same project. The variance depended greatly upon the use of the property (residential vs. agricultural) and the ability of the owner to negotiate.
An Easement is a Forbidden Zone
The easement prevents you from using your property as you like or need to. For example, it can prevent you from planting trees, shrubs, or placing buildings. It can also forbid you from creating pond, lake or diverting drainage.
An Easement Prevents Development
Aside from normal operations, an easement may render your property unsuitable for certain types of development such as retail, operations expansion, wind farm or other opportunities.
What Will it Cost Them if I Refuse?
Don’t be afraid to say no!
If a company does not have the power of eminent domain, the cost is what is required to go around you?
Even a company with the power of eminent domain will face substantial expenses to obtain court intervention. And they still must pay you.
When and How Will the Easement Terminate?
Pipeline companies want a vague description of when and how an easement will terminate. Whenever possible, the owner should negotiate these terms.
Removal or Abandon in Place?
Easements often allow a company to abandon the pipeline in place. This gives the owner problems later. If the pipeline transported any hazardous materials the cost to remove may be very high.
Additional Resources: Texas Pipeline Easement Checklist