Yesterday our surveyor made it out to locate the house on our lot. It was a slow week in general, which was probably good that a lull in the schedule coincided with a week of excessive heat. But on Friday our surveyor staked out the corners of the house so that on Monday when the excavator comes in, he’ll know where to dig, and when the foundation guys come on Wednesday, they’ll be set as well. Our contractor was a little concerned about the bank potentially having issues if we build into the setbacks so this step is a little bit of insurance that we keep the house legally located on the property. The problem is that there is nothing to distinguish our actual property line… There is a sidewalk, but it is about two feet from the property line making it a little difficult to be confident that we are building in exactly the right spot and not a couple inches over into the setback.
More Sewer Issues
Also on Friday, we got an odd letter in the mail from the Bureau of Environmental Services that among other things said the following things:
“The city has identified your property as having a nonconforming sewer connection”
With the little explainer:
“Some Portland properties have nonconforming sewer connections. Nonconforming sewers often connect to the city sewer system through a private sewer line located in a public right-of-way, or through a private line that crosses adjacent private properties without easements.”
I found this a little odd since we just had a sewer line installed last week so it should be fine because they issued a permit for that sewer line just days earlier that one would assume described the installation of a legal sewer connection. Plus they included a map showing a proposed sewer branch roughly where we installed ours… And the city just doesn’t work that fast. All of which leads me to believe that this letter, although dated July 28th, was actually written and authorized ahead of our sewer work without a whole lot of time having been spent figuring out what the deal with our lot is. They included information about the upcoming Oak Basin Sewer Project that will involve installing new sewer pipes in our street so I think the intent is to give people warning so that everyone has appropriate sewer connections when they come and do the street work. I’m guessing then that there are maybe two possible reasons that this letter was sent - First, the houses next door on both sides share a party line sewer (we have a corner lot, so they back on to each other) and the city may think that we share that party line. We know about their party line sewer because it became an issue during the land division and eventually an easement was put in for potential future sewer repairs, the easement is mostly on our neighbor’s lot but overlaps the back corner of ours by a couple feet. The other possibility I see is that they noticed that we didn’t have a line at all despite being permitted for a house and wanted to make sure we had something in place before they start work. Unfortunately by the time we got this letter, the city had closed down for the weekend, hopefully we can get it all sorted out on Monday.