Senate Bill No. 71

(By Senators Sypolt, McCabe and Williams)


         [Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]                            


A BILL to amend and reenact §36-3-5a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to descriptions of easements and rights-of-way in deeds and similar instruments; and amending the centerline method of description to include width.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
    That §36-3-5a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§36-3-5a. Easement and right-of-way; description of property; exception for certain public utility facilities and mineral leases.

     (a) Any deed or instrument that initially grants or reserves an easement or right-of-way shall describe the easement or right-of-way by any of the following:
(1) Metes and bounds; or by
(2) Specification of the centerline of the easement or right- of-way, or by and width;
(3) Station and offset; or
(4) Reference to an attached drawing or plat which may not require a survey or instrument based on the use of the global positioning system which may not require a survey. Provided, That      (b) Oil and gas, gas storage and mineral leases shall not be are not required to describe the easement but shall are required to describe the land on which the easement or right-of-way will be situate by source of title or reference to a tax map and parcel, recorded deed, recorded lease, plat or survey sufficient to reasonably identify and locate the property on which the easement or right-of-way is situate Provided, however, That the easement or right-of-way is not invalid because of the failure of the easement or right-of-way to meet so long as the easement or right-of-way meets the requirements of this subsection (a) of this section.
(b) (c) This section does not apply to the construction of a service extension from a main distribution system of a public utility when such the service extension is located entirely on, below or above the property to which the utility service is to be provided.
     (c) (d) The clerk of the county commission of any county in which an easement or right-of-way is recorded pursuant to this section shall may only accept for recordation any a document that complies with this section and that otherwise complies with the requirements of article one, chapter thirty-nine of this code, without need for a survey or certification under section twelve, article thirteen-a, chapter thirty of this code.

     NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require that descriptions of right-of-ways and easements include width in addition to identification of the center line when this method of description is used.

     Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.