EF Board: Reconsider the Waterworks Easement


EF Board: Reconsider the Waterworks Easement

This petition made change with 50 supporters!
Epping Forest started this petition to Board Chair Epping Forest

The undersigned respectfully request that the Epping Forest Board of Directors (Board) immediately and publicly re-evaluate the current plan for installing backwash water holding tanks associated with the Epping Forest potable water treatment system (“waterworks”). For the reasons outlined below, it is believed that a less costly, less burdensome approach may be available, and we request that such an alternative be thoroughly evaluated before the current plan moves forward.

To be clear, the urgency and seriousness of the underlying issue are understood and the significant efforts taken by community volunteers to date are appreciated. More particularly, the efforts by the Board and Waterworks volunteers to mitigate the large fine imposed by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the deadlines imposed by the MDE Settlement Agreement are understood and appreciated. However, it is believed that the current Easement Agreement is seriously problematic, due at least to the following:

  • Acquisition of an easement constitutes a real property “conveyance”, and it appears the Board may lack authority to enter such an agreement without community approval (Bylaws, Article III, Paragraph 2).
  • Part of the consideration paid to the homeowner for the easement conveyance was the transfer of control over how community property is maintained and utilized from the community to a single property owner. In addition to being contrary to the general spirit and intent of the Act that created Epping Forest, this restriction to community property violates the Epping Forest Bylaws.  (See, for example, Bylaws, Article XI, Paragraph 14).
  • The easement agreement drastically restricts the use of the community beach and other property for up to 30 years, which constitutes a change to the Epping Forest Bylaws. The Board lacks the authority to change community Bylaws or permanently agree to trade away the use of community property without community approval. (See, for example, Bylaws, Article VII, Paragraph 1).
  • The easement agreement allows the Epping Forest Waterworks franchise to install equipment for only 20 years, with no communicated plan or understanding of the potential costs involved if changes are required after that time, for example, when the Easement Agreement expires. The Easement Agreement also includes an open-ended obligation for Epping Forest to provide water service to a single property owner, without specifying a particular timeframe or location and without limitation to cost to the community.
  • Engineering alternatives were not presented to the community for consideration, or at least such presentation was not adequately made public, and, thus, the opportunity to explore alternatives that would avoid the need for an easement and the significant associated impacts on the use of community property were not thoroughly vetted.
  • The elimination of lighting at the tennis court, parking lot and surrounding clubhouse areas, as contemplated by the easement agreement, constitutes a serious safety and security concern.  In the event of an accident in which the absence of adequate lighting is found to be a contributing factor, Epping Forest, Inc. would be legally liable for failing to provide sufficient lighting to ensure the safety and security of community property. 

To prevent the Easement Agreement from becoming permanent and its negative impacts likely becoming irreversible, the current plans for waterworks modifications must be re-evaluated before any construction on the easement property begins. This work could occur as early as August 2021, far ahead of the February 2022 deadline imposed by MDE.

Pursuant to Bylaw Article IV, Paragraph 4, the undersigned, therefore, urgently requests that the Epping Forest Board arrange for an emergency “special meeting”  to discuss the following:

  • Validity of the Easement Agreement mentioned above;
  • Alternatives to the placement of waterworks equipment on the easement property;
  • Propriety of proposed restrictions on community property; and
  • Strategy for meeting MDE agreement deadlines while pursuing any identified alternative strategies

Note: This petition is only open to residents of Epping Forest, Maryland.


This petition made change with 50 supporters!

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