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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted a question regarding switches/turnouts yesterday that seems to have taken a turn toward my future layout and the easement on my property so I thought I might better start a new thread that addresses the new topic.

Living on a cul-da-sac I have a huge back yard. Unfortunately I also have an good size easement that runs along the back fence. We have lived here for 14 years and the have dug up the gas line twice, added a fair number of cable and phone lines (they are mostly just thrown on the ground or buried about 2" deep) and sue this past summer had to access it to put up that huge fence. It is not like they are back there every day and when they are they have really only disturbed the area 3 times.

My question to you is how would you make use of all this space?
According to the boss (wife) I have free reign to do whatever I please. $ is a factor as I have to do this in stages but space is only limited by the property lines.

Here are some pics to help give you some ideas.



This is the back fence. Not sure how long it is but I it is close to 200ft.



Looking back the other direction



This the North side. I store a lot of junk back here. Everything but the A/C unit behind the red trailer can be moved.



This is the south side. I would like to put the bulk of the layout here to start as it is right of the back porch and viewable from the kitchen window.
Note...I have like 9 trees back there that make for a great deal of leaves and shade (hence no grass)...

Any ideas?
 

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Two years ago I was faced with a similar dilemma.We had moved to another city and had a smaller tree problem. Before the layout was rebuilt, we had a tree groomer come in to trim and remove the unsightly problem. The cost was not cheap, but certainly cheaper than having to remove trees once the track was laid. It also lets more light in which allowed the grass to stay green. Regards, Dennis.
 

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I don't know the dimensions, but that south side area sure looks like a nice place to get started. A walkway from the gap in the fence in the background that wyes to go along the house and the fence, joining in the easement area to the left of the left tree would make for viewing all the way around.

Having the track encroach into the easement a short distance (a foot or two) would not be bad. The track could loop around that tree too. Future expansion then could continue into the area behind the house to loop back beside the walk near the house. And more future expansion could be a loop to the area on the north of the house, but that looks to be a bit more crowded.

Having the walkway in the easement area is probably the best use of the easement land space as it enhances the layout without add anything expensive to fix if a utility has to drive in with heavy equipment, or digs holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is kind of the way I way thinking. I would like to build that area up about 24 inches and keep the walk ways around to the outside.
From the corner of the house straight across to the photo to the other side fence it is about 40 ft across. Back by the opening in narrows to about 25+. Length from the edge of the easement toward the gate is about 60+ so the area is sort of pie shaped. Ideally I would like to put some sort of timbers or edging around the area and raise it up about 18-24 inches.

Here is another pic that shows the back porch area and that big tree. I would like, as you said to bring a portion of the layout around that tree. The only thing the wife asked for was a nice deck or porch... which I hope to incorporate into the layout.




We had the foundation leveled this summer and they just finished Friday replacing our roof from IKE damage ... So it is now time to start putting the yard back together. The North side does have a lot of junk piled up there but most of that will be moved. Matter of fact, under that gray tarp is a pile of curbing equipment (which is supposed to be in the red trailer). I have a concrete mixer, sod cutter, concrete extruder and so on... I may be able to use some of that building the layout. I have read that a number of people have had great success "pouring" concrete for roadbeds to anchor their track. I certainly have the tools to do that if I decide to go that route..
 

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Careful of easements.

Some neighbors planted flowers along the easement in front of their property. Then the gas company drug a huge burried line right through them. Now, there was plenty of space in front or behind the flower beds they could have dragged their huge machine through, but they did have the right to tear up the flowers as they were in the easement.
 

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Some crews can be nicer and more thoughtful than others, but sometimes they are limited about where they can actually put things in the ground due to pre-existing items there, (around here there is a prohibition of putting a water supply pipe in the same trench as the sewer pipe and gas pipes within a certain distance from electrical lines), or exactly what the path has to be to get from point A to point B.

As to the "flowers" that were destroyed...

On my way to work I used to drive past a house where a lady had her whole front yard full of "flowers". And I mean the whole yard; 40-ft wide, 20-ft from the house to the sidewalk and in the 8-ft area between the sidewalk and the street. But the city was constantly on her case to get the "WEEDS" mowed. I have to admit that I was on the side of the city in that dispute... the "plants" did have a lovely bloom for a day or two in the spring, but the rest of the year the plants were nothing more than a scraggly 2 to 4 foot tall "stalks" with brown "bug eaten" leaflets and spider webs. She claimed if she cut them down they would not flower the next year and that she liked the non-flowering state... in an interview on TV she said she thought her yard was "very lovely"... I say it was worse than any abandoned property I have ever seen. Kids interviewed in the same TV news story claimed they were afraid to walk on the sidewalk due to the "big scary spiders and snakes!" The city mowed the area between the street and sidewalk and billed her for it. She moved. Anyway, given that scenario, I wonder if the flowers that the huge machine was drug through were recognizable as "Flowers" by the gas pipeline crew?


Then again, perhaps they were just pack of petulant punks that plowed up a patch of pretty petunias.
 

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Its in an EASEMENT, its already been gone into according to the OP-

AVOID at all costs a PERMANENT solution, because eventually they WILL tear the heck out of it and you will have NO recorse because you built in THEIR easement.

I would suggest maybe some sort of raised layout AKA Richard Smith's, something that can be built modularly, and bolted together, so when the time comes, all you have to do is break out the cresent wrench and disassemble the modules and move them out of the way, then bolt the kabodle back together again after they are done. Might be the best soultion to the prospect of work being done there.

The only thing you might have to reset would be the foundation piers, if you use the square precast ones with the nailing plate cast in, and build the modules like tables, unbolt the base, lift off the table module, move it aside, then dig out the pier, move on the the mext module. When there done, measure out the peirs again, set them in place, place the table model back on and bolt down, move to reset the next module. Beats completely redoing and re-landscaping an entire ground level layout, but if thats your choice, then take the gamble and enjoy it while you can.
 

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A differing view:

In my yard, visits from the utility companies are exceedingly rare. Sometimes easements are (vaguely) granted for public utilities and drainage. ( Sometimes just drainage). ( In my county you can learn about this at the Recorder's office; or you can check your title policy).

I have never had a hassle w/this. Don't put up anything permanent or has a concrete foundation and you may not have a problem, judging from my personal experience.
 
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