9-1-1:    Method Of Releasing Easements

9-1-2:    Petition For Release, Filing Fee, Signatures, Title Report

9-1-3:    Referral Of Petition, Easement Granted Or Retained

9-1-4:    Easement Classifications

9-1-5:    Easement Release Process

9-1-6:    Property Released, Copy Of Ordinance Filed

9-1-7:    Compensation From Released Easement


It is the intention of the City Council to establish a unified method of releasing easements which have been abandoned and are no longer needed by the City.


A.    The owners of an interest in any real estate over which an easement exists within the City may petition the City Council for the release of the easement or any part thereof. The petition shall be on a form prescribed by the City, shall contain a full and correct description of the property sought to be released and shall be signed by the owners of more than two-thirds (2/3) of the property affected by said easement.

B.    Upon the filing of the petition with the City Clerk the petitioning owners shall simultaneously pay an easement filing fee, specified in Section 4-1-180, to compensate the City for administrative costs and expense in processing, checking and handling such application. This fee may be waived by Council action. (Amd. Ord. 4723, 5-11-98)

C.    Sufficiency of Signature: For the purpose of determining the sufficiency of signatures of “owners of private property” on the petition, the following rules shall govern:

1.    The signature of an owner, as determined by the County Assessor shall be sufficient without the signature of his or her spouse.

2.    In the case of mortgaged property or property subject to a contract of purchase, the signature of the mortgagor or the contract vendee, as the case may be, shall be sufficient.

3.    In the case of ownership by a corporation, the signature of any officer authorized by the by-laws or resolution of the board of directors of the corporation shall be sufficient when evidenced by an excerpt of the by-laws or resolution certified by the secretary of the corporation, granting such authority.

4.    In the case of property owned by the estate of a decedent or incompetent, the signature of the duly qualified personal representative or guardian shall be equivalent to the signature of the owner of the property.

D.    In the case where the “owner of interest” cannot be determined, a current title report may be required to be furnished by the applicant, at the applicant’s expense.


A.    The City Council shall refer the petition to the appropriate Council committee and seek the recommendation of the City department responsible for control, maintenance and use of the easement as to the advisability of the proposed easement release, and the classification of said easement pursuant to Section 9-1-4 of this Chapter. (Amd. Ord. 4860, 9-18-00)

B.    Upon recommendation of the responsible Department Administrator/Director and Council committee, the Council shall determine whether the proposal should be granted, the classification of the easement, and the compensation to be paid (if any), in accordance with Section 9-1-5 of this Chapter. (Amd. Ord. 4860, 9-18-00)

C.    The City further reserves the right to retain the easement for the construction, repair and maintenance of public utilities and public services.


For the purpose of this Chapter, all easements within the City are hereby declared to be within one of three (3) classes:

CLASS A: All City easements acquired at monetary cost to the City or easements acquired at no monetary cost to the City, but for which expenditures of funds have been made in the improvement or maintenance of same.

CLASS B: All City easements for which no public funds have been expended in the acquisition, improvement or maintenance of same or easements originally dedicated or otherwise conveyed to the City by the present petitioner for the release of said easement for which no public expenditures have been made in the acquisition, improvement or maintenance thereof.

CLASS C: Same conditions as Class B except there is evidence that the property owners could have substantial monetary gain from release of the easement.


A.    If the petition for easement release is approved by the City Council the applicant may complete the easement release process as follows:

1.    This applicant shall pay an easement release processing fee in an amount as set forth in Section 4-1-180E to defray the remaining administrative costs of processing and completing the proposed easement release. This fee may be waived by Council action. (Ord. 4723, 5-11-98)

2.    In the event of the release of an easement classified as Class A or Class C, the City shall receive compensation which amount for the purposes of this Chapter is to be determined by an appraisal provided by the applicant; provided, that the City Council shall have authority, upon recommendation of the administration, to accept real property of equal value in lieu of cash compensation where the value of the easement to be released is not more than the value of the real property to be acquired by such exchange.

3.    The applicant shall make or cause to be made an appraisal in writing by an M.A.I. or other qualified appraiser, as approved by the City, and furnish the results thereof unto the Department Administrator/Director for evaluation and recommendation to the City Council for acceptance and determination of the compensation due the City. The cost of the appraisal shall be borne by the applicant. The compensation thus determined shall then be paid to the City Clerk. The ordinance releasing such easement shall not be enacted until such payment has been made. (Amd. Ord. 4860, 9-18-00)

4.    In the event of a release of easement classification as Class B, the City shall receive no further compensation other than the easement release processing fee to defray administrative costs of the easement release.

5.    When an easement is released for a governmental agency, and compensation is required, compensation shall be based upon the administrative costs of the release and may, at the discretion of the City Council, be based upon original cost to the City of acquisition.

6.    In the event that the compensation for the release has not been paid within ninety (90) days of the determination by the City Council of the compensation to be paid, the petition shall be deemed to have been abandoned and shall be denied.


Upon the release of an easement as hereinabove provided for, the property within the limits so released shall be attached to the property from which it was acquired. If the City Council ascertains and determines that the acquisition of the easement by the City occurred in some proportion other than equally from ownerships, the Council shall set forth in its decision the proportions so established and the released easement shall be conveyed to the owners in such proportions. A certified copy of the ordinance releasing any such easement or part thereof shall be filed for record with the King County Recorder’s office. Additional copies thereof may be furnished to such governmental agencies as may have an interest therein.


Compensation received from the released easement shall be placed in the street fund or utility fund whichever is appropriate unless otherwise provided by the City Council. (Ord. 3857, 10-22-84)