Wellington mineral claim called useless

Wellington mineral claim called useless

Wellington · Village residents need not worry about a Louisiana company’s recent surprise mineral rights claim against their properties, local officials and real estate attorneys say.

Homeowners certainly shouldn’t hastily send money to Southern States Land & Timber LLC to obtain a waiver of the company’s mineral interests, the experts warn.

Concern spread in several Wellington communities after the Franklin, La., business and the Palm Beach County clerk sent notices in late June to 1,000 area property owners, detailing long-held mineral rights claims on the land.

Southern States declared it controls “oil, gas and mineral rights and deposits” on the parcels, along with legal authority to remove what it wants.

The company did not say if or when it planned to take action. But it offered residents the opportunity to pay for a waiver — likely at least $1,000 based on their home’s value — to avoid the chance of an excavation or a potential “cloud” on their property title.

Even if the rights are authentic, Southern States may be restricted from drilling because of bureaucratic rules for housing developments.

“Just because you have the mineral rights doesn’t mean you can start digging,” Village Manager Charlie Lynn said Friday. “There’s going to be a host of land-use, water-management or zoning issues. I can’t even imagine the uproar.”

Asked if Wellington or another government could thwart Southern States, company Executive Vice President and General Manager Harry J. Smith replied in an e-mail: “I don’t know. Anything is possible.”

The mineral rights claim probably would not create a title problem affecting a homeowner’s ability to sell property, said Matthew F. Lupardo, a real estate attorney based in Royal Palm Beach.

Source: www.sun-sentinel.com

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