Washington County has just sent out notices to owners of property abutting NW Bethany Blvd. stating that employees of the County’s contractor for the widening of that road intend to come onto their property to survey and test. The notice assumes the property owners’ consent to these intrusions.
ORS 35.220 grants a condemning authority, such as Washington County in this case, and its agents the right to enter upon properties which it may condemn for purposes of survey and testing. That statute provides that if the property owner communicates their objection to any such entry, then the condemning authority may file a petition with the court to permit such entry. In that judicial hearing the court “. . . may enter an order establishing reasonable terms and conditions for entry and for any examination, survey, testing or sampling of the property requested by the condemnor.” ORS 35.220(2).
In short, if the property owner gives written notice of their objection to entry onto their property, the County must file a petition in court to obtain the right to make such entry. At the hearing on that petition the property owner will be able to ask the court to limit the entry to reasonable times when the property owner can be present.
Such an objection seems essential to prevent the County from assuming that it and its contractors have permission to enter onto your property any time at their convenience. Of course, in order to be effective the objection must be in writing and delivered to the County promptly after the property owner receives notice of the intended entry.