Building next to a Gas Pipeline

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Old 12-26-04, 07:35 AM
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Building next to a Gas Pipeline

I have ten acres with a crude oil pipeline bisecting it diagonally, I am considering developing this property with homes. All the pipeline company will tell me is that I cant build over the top of it, and if I build a street over it, they have an easement that allows them to tear it up if they have to get to it. I cannot find anything that would stop me from building a home next to the pipe itself. Of course it might bother some people to have their children playing above it, but Im sure that this issue has come up before somewhere. Anybody got any clues for me?
 
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Old 12-26-04, 10:12 PM
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WML13,

Not knowing where you live and the Zoning requirements for such a venture, I would suggest talking to your Local Zoning and Planning Commission regarding this type of improvement. Owning this property doesn't grant you the right to develop it as you see fit. The priviledge would have to be granted by your local authorities. In addition to this, again on an assumption you have to contend with them, is the Utility companies. There involvement must be addressed in the forefront. They, too, will be required to provide data that would be important to your issue. I have encountered developments that had easements, all of which must be adhered to and stipulate what and where things can be built. I would assume that these easements will be the overall deciding factor as to how close the homes can be built to them and then determining the size of the lots, placement of the home, issues of driveways, streets, all utility installations, etc.

Again, the overall cost analysis for the project must be defined and the costs that would be incurred for the sale of each lot plus the cost of the home, if you are going to provide pre-selected models to choice from or allow for owners to select their own builder must be reviewed so as you are making a reasonable profit from this endeavor. There will be attornery's fees, filing fees, Review Board fees, professional consultant fees, etc.

Again, in developing such a site, these usually go through the Planning and Zoning Commission for preliminary approvals. The need for significant blueprints outlining home lots, site plans, public works data and other information would be submitted at these preliminary and subsequent hearings. Most importantly will be the Crude Oil pipeline companies involvement.

In considering your venture, you should should seek all the advice from those who can either confirm your concerns or detour you from such an investment, regardless of any potential return you might seek from it. This may and should include a good real estate attorney on your behalf, an architect that knows the area and the process involved. This will save you thousands of dollars should you get halted in endeavor.

I doubt that children playing over a crude oil pipeline would be any problem unless there was a leak but this is where other issues would arise, such as the amount of room required for any significant repairs to be made and who is responsible for the extent of the damage beyond the "easement" lines.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 12-27-04, 07:39 AM
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Pipeline

I am aware of all of the things you mentioned. I did not want to get involved with the zoning people just yet. All the pipeline utility said was what I mentioned before. They didnt care where I build homes as long as they could get to their pipe for maintenance. I guess that leaves me to the local authorities for determination, but I thought somebody might already know what that was. (OHIO)
Thank you for your reply!
 
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Old 12-27-04, 07:44 AM
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WML13,

I'm glad you are already aware of the items I mentioned but at this point, your answers are such that only the Zoning and Planning Commission will have to answer. Each municipality is different and you would not get specific information beyond what I provided in that regard.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 02-12-05, 04:35 PM
Bob Haller
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It will likely decrease the value of whatever you build just like being close to a electrical high tension transmission line........

today people are very fussy
 
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Old 02-12-05, 10:04 PM
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I agree with Doug, and Bob.
I grew up in the East Texas oilfield with crude oil derricks, tank batteries, crude and natural gas pipelines, etc. all over the place. I even worked for one of those oil & gas pipeline companies a couple of summers during college.
The pipeline company is responsible for leak damages, but I can tell you, a crude oil leak under the pressure that they pump it can be a major mess very fast...PLUS it still has some natural gas in it, and can be a real fire hazard.
If you've ever seen a crude oil fire (I have, up close), you would know what I mean. (Does Kuwait ring a bell? LOL)
I think that in this day and age, you might have a lot of difficulty doing a residential development near a crude oil pipeline easement, unless there was a substantial setback.
Before I invested many bucks in that small of a tract, I would go see the powers-that-be, and get a handle on what they would allow and/or require.
Good luck!
Mike
 
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Old 02-13-05, 07:25 PM
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Red Adair

I know where you guys are coming from, and it all makes sense..It just makes me wonder about the million and a half Ive been offered for the property. How is the "Professional" developer going to market this land? If the whole tract is worth ten times that, then I suppose the land on or near the easement could be just left as an open common area, but does that make it less of a potential liability? How close is too close?
 
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Old 02-14-05, 05:37 PM
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WML13,

Your best place to get answers is going to be through your municipality. Obviously there are other areas that have housing close to this pipeline, right?

Best to ask questions now than to suffer the consequences later.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 02-14-05, 06:08 PM
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As a quick guide you could try driving along the route of th pipeline (even though it's underground there are the little signs every so often and sometimes it comes up "for air) and kind of get a feel for where how close to it others have built.

(Natural) gas and liquid oil are two quite different things. Gas doesn't take too much pressure to push and (doesn't generally) explode with much force. Liquids take a lot of pressure to push because they're so heavy. For myself I probably wouldn't want to be much closer than 200 yards or so.

IIRC the Interstate Commerce Commission used to regulate pipelines but I think they're gone now. I just remembered that if you follow the pipeline along you'll find signs regarding who to call in case of problems. The pipeline "owner" might be able to tell you a bit more if you go high enough.

Frank
 
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Old 02-14-05, 06:43 PM
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If the mill-and-half includes mineral rights, then they may know more than you do. Drilled for oil or gas on it lately. LOL
Mike
 
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Old 02-15-05, 05:27 PM
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Mineral rights

If you only knew! lol I assume that everyone knows more than I do. (but I already know about the oil wells) Since Im part Cherokee, a casino might be the only option, as they are mostly low grade shale oil. Ill keep you guys posted. Blackjack anyone?
 
 

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