Easement Definitions for Land Surveyors

easement-1An interest in land created by grant or agreement that confers a right on owners (private or public) to some profit, benefit, dominion, or lawful use of the estate of another. 2 A non-possessing interest held by one person in land of another whereby the first person is accorded partial use of such land for a specific purpose. An easement restricts but does not abridge the rights of the fee owner to the use and enjoyment of his land. Easements fall into three broad categories: surface, subsurface and overhead.

easement, affirmative—An easement allowing the owner of the dominant estate to use the land of another in a way that otherwise would not be permitted. See also easement, negative.

easement, appurtenant—An easement attached to a parcel of land which passes with the conveyance of that parcel.

easement, augmenting— An easement lying outside the parcel being conveyed but of benefit to the parcel.

easement, implied—An easement arising, by operation law, to use the land of another for a particular purpose.

easement, negative—An easement precluding the owner of the land upon which the easement exists from acting on the land in a way one would be entitled to act if no easement existed. For example, a solar easement where building a structure on the servient estate might block sunlight from reaching the dominant easement. See also easement, affirmative.

easement, overhead—The right to use the space at a designated distance above the surface of the land; as for power lines, avigation, and air rights.

easement, prescriptive—A right acquired by an adverse use to use the land of another. See prescription.

easement, subsurface—The right to use the land at a designated distance below the surface of the land; as for pipelines, electric and telephone circuits and cables, storage facilities, etc.

easement, surface—The right to use only the surface of the land; as for easements of access, flowage, or for rights of way.

easement by necessity—An easement arising by operation of law at the time of conveyance providing a use reasonably necessary for the enjoyment of the parcel. Ordinarily arises at the time of conveyance to provide access across the grantor’s remaining parcel when the parcel was conveyed without express access to a public road.

easement curve—See curve, spiral [SURVEYING].

easement in gross—A right on behalf of a person to use the land of another for reasons not connected with ownership of any property. This right is usually not assignable or inheritable. See also easement, appurtenant.

Source: NSPS “Definitions of Surveying and Related Terms“, used with permission.

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