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Property Owner

04905346 Owner Rights in Oregon

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I own and live on a 3/4 acre parcel in rural Oregon that is part of a private water district that delivers domestic and irrigation water to shareholders ' properties. The association has 5 wells and miles of underground pipe. It maintains all The water facilities. The association has governing documents that provide for a board of directors and bylaws governing the operation of the association. At the recent 2019 shareholders ' meeting the Board proposed a new bylaw that permits water district employees and representatives to enter a shareholder's property without permission and conduct any water district business thereon. The only restrictions are that The association must attempt to contact the property owner beforehand and the work performed may not exceed $25,000 in cost, without full board approval. The bylaw passed in a close vote.

Here are my concerns:

1. The bylaw's scope is too broad. At the meeting I proposed an amendment restricting unapproved entry to 3 purposes - taking water samples for analysis, reading the metre and turning off water in the event of an emergency. The bylaw proposer refused the amendment.

2. This amendment forces a property owner to give up all rights to refuse work performed on their property or to negotiate how and when the work would be done and to require the association to repair any damage to the property.

My questions:

1. Is this bylaw contrary to Oregon trespass laws?

2. Doesn't this bylaw exceed the authority of a private association?

Is this bylaw enforceable?

3. Doesn't a land owner have the right to forbid entry to their land, even in the face of such a bylaw?

4. What recourse do I have now to get this bylaw removed, considering that the board was so unwilling to compromise and restrict the scope of the bylaw?

Edited by Property Owner
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20 minutes ago, Property Owner said:

1. Is this bylaw contrary to Oregon trespass laws?

 

Of course not.

 

20 minutes ago, Property Owner said:

2. Doesn't this bylaw exceed the authority of a private association?

 

I don't have time to look it up but my guess is that the laws that govern water districts allow the districts the autonomy to create and change bylaws.

 

20 minutes ago, Property Owner said:

3. Doesn't a land owner have the right to forbid entry to their land, even in the face of such a bylaw?

 

Sure. You have the right to stand there and forbid entry until a judge says otherwise.

 

20 minutes ago, Property Owner said:

4. What recourse do I have now to get this bylaw removed, considering that the board was so unwilling to compromise and restrict the scope of the bylaw?

 

Hire a lawyer and sue the water district but my guess is that you will lose because of:

 

20 minutes ago, Property Owner said:

The bylaw passed in a close vote.

 

As close as the vote was it's obvious that enough members of the district were in favor of it to get it to pass.

 

I don't think you are going to win this but you are welcome to spend your money on litigation and try.

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1 hour ago, Property Owner said:

I own and live on a 3/4 acre parcel in rural Oregon that is part of a private water district that delivers domestic and irrigation water to shareholders ' properties. The association has 5 wells and miles of underground pipe. It maintains all The water facilities. The association has governing documents that provide for a board of directors and bylaws governing the operation of the association.

 

Just clarifying:  Is "the association" a different entity than the "private water district," or are they the same entity that you're using two different names to refer to?

 

 

1 hour ago, Property Owner said:

Is this bylaw contrary to Oregon trespass laws?

 

Probably.  However, at some point, you or a predecessor owner presumably granted the district/association the power to do certain things.  If so, that would effectively negate any trespassing issue.

 

 

1 hour ago, Property Owner said:

Doesn't this bylaw exceed the authority of a private association?

 

Since we are not privy to any relevant documents, there's no way for anyone here to answer this intelligently.

 

 

1 hour ago, Property Owner said:

Is this bylaw enforceable?

 

Your post provides no information from which one could deduce an answer to this question.

 

 

1 hour ago, Property Owner said:

Doesn't a land owner have the right to forbid entry to their land, even in the face of such a bylaw?

 

See my answers above to your questions about trespassing and the authority of a private association.  Obviously, your rights are limited by whatever authority/power has been conferred to this district/association.

 

 

1 hour ago, Property Owner said:

What recourse do I have now to get this bylaw removed, considering that the board was so unwilling to compromise and restrict the scope of the bylaw?

 

No way for anyone to know without reading the relevant documents.  I suggest you seek a consultation with a local attorney.  Perhaps, if some of your neighbors share your opinion, you can pool resources for the purpose of obtaining legal advice and representation.

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