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Landscaping Easement includes block wall?

Discussion in 'Easements & Right of Way Law' started by SamanthaLynn, May 6, 2019.

  1. SamanthaLynn

    SamanthaLynn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I live in a residential housing track where the developer built a block wall around the entire neighborhood, the back of my yard ends at that block wall, though my property line is 6'8" beyond that wall, where the city has a landscaping easement for 6'8". since that block wall was only 5'4" tall i added another block to the top of it to make it 6'0" which is maximum height without needing a permit. Well i have a jerk of a neighbor that reported this, and now code enforcement is saying that i have encroached on city property and i need to remove it. After explaining that my property line extends beyond that wall he still says that its city property. Only thing i can find in my deed and title paperwork is that i cannot remove the wall to access the road that way. after spending hours talking to the building department, public works, and parks department, no one can give me an answer as to who owns it. I can't see the city owning a block wall that is situated 100% on my property especially when the developer built it, not the city, and passed the cost on to the home buyers in the area. The easement only states 6'8" landscaping which they do maintain the shrubs and trees in that areas even though the actual size from the sidewalk to the block wall is like 9 feet. I'm not sure what my next move is from here, please help.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    What does that mean?

    Who at code enforcement is saying what? Some bureaucratic dipshit who is a legend in his own mind?

    And how is that person saying it?

    What I am getting at is this:

    Were you served a written citation giving you a city code/ordinance chapter and verse as to why you should remove that last row of block?

    If your answer is no, then you are free to ignore what is being "said" and see what happens next.
     
  3. SamanthaLynn

    SamanthaLynn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sorry I should have been more clear. Yes I was sent a notice from the code enforcement office and they sent a code enforcement officer out to discuss its correctable action. The ordinance is 12.20.020 Encroachment on city property, which would be true IF the city owns the block wall.

    Edit: The code inforcement officer said hes OK with the addition of the one block If the city is OK with it, But nobody at the city can tell me who owns the wall
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The only ordinance that comes back with that number and title is for the city of Folsom and 12.20.020 is Definitions:

    Chapter 12.20 USE OF CITY PROPERTY

    A notice citing that section doesn't tell me anything. Perhaps you can upload a copy of the notice, redacting any identifying information.

    Meantime, see if you can locate the recorded easement document in the county records and upload a copy of that, too.

    I can't give you "legal advice" but seeing both might elicit helpful comments on how to respond to the notice.
     
  5. SamanthaLynn

    SamanthaLynn Law Topic Starter New Member

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  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I think a lot will depend on how that easement is measured in relation to the wall.

    If it's 6'8 from the other side of the wall, you're not encroaching.

    If the wall is within the 6'8" then it does look like you are encroaching and you would need a permit to add that top row of block.

    I'm guessing that the city is more concerned with getting the permit fee than the additional row of block.

    Wall.jpg
     
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  7. SamanthaLynn

    SamanthaLynn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well i finally got some additional information from the city. they sent me the plans for the wall and on there it says landscape & wall easement. But on the plans it shows that my property line extends beyond the wall and the owner is listed as the name of the builder, nothing about the city owning it, only that they have an easement, so i would think when i purchased the property from the builder it included that block wall and 6 feet or so beyond it. my understanding of an easement is that they have the right to use it, not that they own it. worst case i would think i would need to file for a variance, am i correct in my thinking? I have attached a portion of the building plans that shows the wall, my property is on the right and the street is on the left.
     

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  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That doesn't help much because it shows a wall that is within the easement and the lot line (property line) on the property side of the wall.

    Either way, though, if the wall is within the easement then you need the permit to add to add, whether you own the wall or not. That's how I read the ordinance.
     

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