Opposed landowners with an existing PSNH ROW were visited in December 2011 by Northern Pass agents whom they had invited onto their land to discuss tower placement after receiving an invitation to do so from Northern Pass. Northern Pass asked if they could take photos of the landowners’ property. The landowners consented. Two months later, the landowners received a letter from PSNH (with a close up aerial photo of their land taken by helicopter) asking them to sign a Joint Use Agreement (JUA) for an outbuilding and fence that encroach on the ROW. The agreement states that both PSNH and the landowner agree to the encroaching structures.
Please be aware that the original easement deed generally reserves PSNH’s right to remove any structures from the easement that PSNH deems to be obstructions “now and hereafter.” In other words, the original easement deed may make a JUA essentially revocable permission to the landowner. PSNH may have the right per the original deed to deem a structure to be an obstruction at any time in the future and remove it.
Also be aware that signing a JUA or discussing the encroachment details with PSNH or NPT might forfeit any landowner claims to adverse possession.
As always, the best advice is to consult your attorney before signing anything from Northern Pass or PSNH–or before even talking to them about a JUA. You may try asking PSNH or Northern Pass to pay the cost of an attorney of your choice to help you decide what to do.
Also, please share your information with other Opposition members. Shared knowledge is power.