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NTMWD Sewer Easement

1/27/2022 4:12:27 PM

Hello Neighbors,

As some of you know, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) currently has an existing 50 ft wide sanitary sewer easement, and corresponding underground sewer line, that runs through the eastern portion of our neighborhood, alongside Buffalo Creek. This existing sewer line is a main trunk line that has been in place since the early 2000’s and is part of a much larger system that runs from Rockwall, south through Heath and Forney and eventually ends up at a sewer treatment plant in Mesquite. NTMWD is adding another main trunk line in parallel with the original line and as such are requiring an additional 20 ft width of permanent sewer easement plus an additional 20 ft width of temporary construction easement along the entire length of the project, including the portion running through our neighborhood. These new sewer easements are located directly adjacent the eastern edge of the existing easement (i.e. on the creek-side of the existing sewer easement). See attached plans.

NTMWD is currently performing a tree survey not only in our neighborhood but throughout the entire length of the project within Heath city limits. The city is requiring NTMWD mitigate all trees within the new easements that will be removed for this project. The trees currently tagged will potentially be removed, but they indicate they’ll attempt to keep as many trees as possible within the 20 ft temporary easement as it is also financially in their best interest to minimize their tree mitigation requirements.

Although we ardently prefer this project never occur, it is unfortunately not something we can prevent or refuse as this agency has full authority to obtain the land via condemnation/eminent domain processes. And from what I’ve learned, this project has been an eventuality since before the installation of the original sewer line.

Over the past several months we’ve been resolutely negotiating the sale of these new easements to NTMWD and have succeeded in obtaining approximately twice the appraised and offered value for these easements.

And to clarify for those that may not be familiar with easements, the HOA will still own the land and have the same unlimited access and ownership rights that we’ve always had. But the easement also gives NTMWD certain access and rights to the easement to install, maintain, etc. their infrastructure facilities; the same rights they’ve always had on the existing 50 ft easement. This also includes NTMWD’s right to remove trees within the permanent easement. So, technically, if we were to replant trees into the permanent easement, they have the right to remove those trees if they so choose; the same right they’ve always had in the existing easement.

The easement agreement also requires NTMWD to restore the land to its prior condition once construction is complete, including reinstalling the concrete trail. But this restoration requirement excludes replanting trees within the easement.

As projects of this magnitude often are, details and schedules, etc. have been very fluid. As I mentioned above, they are currently performing a tree survey. Once that is complete they will present their results to the city to determine the required tree mitigation. Once that is finalized, then I would expect construction to commence quickly thereafter, likely within the next month or so, and take approximately 1 year. During construction, affected sections of the trail will be removed and closed and likely not reopen until the project is completed.

We will provide additional information as we obtain it.

Thanks and Kind Regards,

Brent Weaver
HC HOA President

Click here to download and read the HCHOA - NTMWD Easement 2022-compressed

Heath Crossing HOA

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