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Merger and Resubdivision, must show former easements?

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:23 am
by Elias French
Good morning all,

We are preparing a Parcel Map for Merger and Resubdivision of two lots into one lot for a 100+ unit condominium project.. An easement for Ingress & Egress exists of record over one lot for benefit of the other. The lots are now under common ownership. Is it necessary or desirable to show this easement on the Parcel Map? My understanding is that the easement was extinguished by "doctrine of merger" once the lots came under common ownership, and therefore should not be shown on the parcel map at all.

The alternative would be to show the easement graphically and label it "to be extinguished", similar to how the existing lot line is labelled "to be removed" on the Parcel Map. It is suspected this option is preferred by the reviewing agency, Title Co., etc....

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Re: Merger and Resubdivision, must show former easements?

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:46 am
by Warren Smith
This is/was a private easement and, indeed, was extinguished upon common ownership of the dominant and servient tenements.[Civil Code section 811]

811. A servitude is extinguished:
1. By the vesting of the right to the servitude and the right to the servient tenement in the same person;
2. By the destruction of the servient tenement;

In any event, the filing of the parcel map will certainly "destroy" the servient tenement.

Re: Merger and Resubdivision, must show former easements?

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:16 pm
by Elias French
Thank you,

This is very helpful, and I agree with you that in the end, if the goal is to "destroy" the easement the map will certainly do so by merging the dominant and servient tenements.

I believe the Title Co. and reviewing agency would prefer to see the easement shown on the face of the map and labelled "to be removed", but it seems that doing so in this case is not necessary. My general experience is that Title Co.'s, not without reason, are reluctant to acknowledge that an easement has been extinguished by 'doctrine of merger', and prefer to see a recorded document or some sort of paper trail (in this case a map) terminating such an easement before they will acknowledge it has been extinguished.

Re: Merger and Resubdivision, must show former easements?

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:22 am
by -Dave Ryan-
Adding a note about the "prior" easement rather than putting it graphically on the map seems like the way to go. A title company by the very nature of their business is typically very cautious and shouldn't be driving whether this is shown as linework or not. Especially since there seems to be no question it will go away. Cite the prior documentation that created it and the code that extinguishes it. then you have the history and move on.

Dave Ryan
Arcata, Ca.

Re: Merger and Resubdivision, must show former easements?

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:23 am
by mpallamary
If I am not mistaken, there is a provision under the SMA that addresses this and how to do it on the map. I am too busy to track down at the moment but will if I get some time. It is a relatively recent amendment to the SMA as I recall.

Re: Merger and Resubdivision, must show former easements?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:33 pm
by subman
Just use the AutoCAD “Explode” command and click on the lines. My attempt at surveying humor.

Re: Merger and Resubdivision, must show former easements?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:39 pm
by land butcher
subman wrote:Just use the AutoCAD “Explode” command and click on the lines. My attempt at surveying humor.


LOL

Re: Merger and Resubdivision, must show former easements?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:30 pm
by Peter Ehlert
Elias French wrote:Thank you,

...snip... I believe the Title Co. and reviewing agency would prefer to see the easement shown on the face of the map and labelled "to be removed"...snip.

How about making a bit more clear for the future worry warts.

include in the owner's signed statement on the face of the map something like "as owner of Lot XX I abandon and relinquish any interest I may have in the easement ZZZ"