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(A) Description. A vacation of easement is a process used to eliminate all or a portion of an easement for drainage, access, non-access, planting screens, or other purpose previously designated on a plat. The vacation requires the approval of the Board of Commissioners including a vacation instrument showing the easement to be vacated.
(1) The applicant shall meet with the Planning Official to discuss the proposed vacation of easement and determine the type of vacation application(s) that are required to be submitted. Generally, vacation of easement applications can be classified into three categories.
(a) Vacation of utility easement. The applicant shall send out a letter describing the vacation of easement request and a vacation instrument to all applicable utility companies in order to determine the impact of the proposed vacation on utilities. The utility companies shall be instructed within the letter sent by the applicant to respond directly to the Planning Official.
(b) Vacation of drainage easement. The applicant shall submit a drainage report prepared by a licensed, professional engineer. The report shall determine the impact of the proposed vacation on the existing and future drainage. A site plan may be required.
(c) Vacation of access, non-access, planting screen or other easement. An application for vacation of an access, non-access, planting screen, or other easement shall be signed by all affected property owners requesting the easement vacation.
(2) The authorization of the owner(s) of the property underlying the easement to be vacated is required for all vacation of easement applications.
(C) Process. The applicant shall submit the required application, applicable fees, vacation of easement instrument and other specified information to the Planning Official. The vacation instrument shall be prepared by a licensed professional land surveyor and marked “Exhibit A.” The vacation instrument shall include the book and page number of the original document dedicating the easement. Upon receipt of a complete application, the Planning Official shall provide all information to the Planning Commission for review. The Planning Commission shall review the application and forward a recommendation to approve or deny the vacation of easement request to the Board of Commissioners within 30 days of receipt of the application. The Board of Commissioners, at its next regular meeting after the Planning Commission makes its recommendation, shall review the vacation of easement application and the Planning Commission’s recommendation and act upon said recommendation. Following approval, the vacation of easement instrument shall be recorded at the applicable county’s Register of Deeds.
(D) Approval criteria. The Planning Commission shall recommend and the Board of Commissioners shall approve the vacation of easement provided the request complies with the following approval criteria:
(1) The utility companies consent to the vacation of the easement, if applicable;
(2) The City Engineer determines that the drainage is not adversely affected, if applicable;
(3) The vacation of easement does not alter a recorded easement without the prior approval of the easement holder; and
(4) The vacation of easement does not result in any adverse impacts to the public as determined by the Board of Commissioners.
(Ord. #115, passed 2-16-2017)