If I May Speak
by Cliff Duncan
The old saying, There
are no stupid questions is simply not true.
Recently a client in
Florida sent an e-mail to his realtor with
numerous questions about a property on which they
had made an offer. The questions are real. The
answers are what the realtor would like to have
replied barring any concerns regarding career
1. Who owns the water
rights? Riparian, surface water and
Since there is no lake,
river, ocean, sea, etc. adjoining the property or
owned by any neighborhood association, to which
you wont belong anyway, perhaps the
following will clarify riparian issues.
Ultimately God owns water. However
in the absence of divine intervention, the
intergalactic agreement regarding riparian rights
per the Romulan and Vulcan Treaty
supercedes any and all claims to any and all
earthly liquids made by the Riparians.
However, the property owner
does retain sole rights to all water on the
surface of the property in the event of a flood.
Likewise, septic, sewer and any other underground
water is solely yours to do with as you please.
2. Are there
any water usage restrictions?
In Florida, a popular
guideline that has withheld judicial scrutiny, is
use it or lose it.
3. Who owns the
With the exception of
plutonium, said property owner has rights to all
minerals. And before you ask, yes, vitamins are
yours as well. However, a balanced diet should
contain all you need.
4. Can we put
up a fence? What type of fencing? Field, chain
link, wood, vinyl. Any other restrictions on
Yes, and any material is
allowed, mostly. However, rolled razor wire is
discouraged, and along the same lines moats
occupied by indigenous deterrents such as
crocodiles, alligators and/or boas, pythons,
sharks, etc. are strictly regulated.
on restrictions by any governing entity?
Tasteful is the guideline
here. An addition that looked remarkably like a
40 foot tall barber pole was recently ruled as
lacking good taste.
Restrictions also include
neon signs on residential property advertising
free beer, for a good time
call, etc. Signs in pink or teal will
have automatic fines assessed.
6. Restrictions on
above ground pools?
Pools on stilts are
considered above ground and have
proven to be hazardous. Strict building
codes apply. Its just easier to
locate the pool on the ground.
7.What setbacks are
there (for fences, trees, structures, etc.)? How
do setbacks work? Are there
different setbacks for different things?
Setbacks have recently come
into common use when full and half backs suffer
injuries. Fences, trees, etc. have been
proven hazardous particularly beyond the 40 yard
line and on quarterback sneak configurations.
And no, there are no distinctions regarding
setbacks, since the NFL tries to maintain
political correctness regarding race and religion.
8. Name and
address of local lab you trust for water testing.
Just about any lab is
equipped to determine the wetness
quotient for your water. Hard water
should be brought to the assayers office to
9. Names and or
phone/web address for essential services
Lets me just make
this simple and say that my brother in law Vinnie
has interests in just about any company
youll need. Hes expecting your
call. Vinnie doesnt take rejection well.