Sunday, October 27, 2013

Property lines

I believe in property lines. I believe in property rights. And I believe that no one has the right to use you.

Why am I stating this? Because we find ourselves embroiled in a property line dispute with a neighbor. She's a nice lady. But her family owns a lot of land around us and they've hunted that land for "a hundred years". Because of this, they seem to feel they have the right to come on our property whenever they feel like it. Without asking permission - heck, even though we've told them not to do so. And let's keep in mind that they are not coming to visit us. They are secretly entering the property from the back. Now my thought is this - if they wanted our 60 acres so darn bad, they should have bought it when it came up for sale. And since they didn't, they have no right to use it. Especially with guns.

Before anyone gets their panties in a twist, this is not an anti hunting comment. I have no issue with hunters. I do have issue with trespassers. I am liable if they get hurt - even if they don't have permission to be here. And it's totally possible that an accident could befall them. So I don't want them here.

For example, we are having our property logged. We know not to go into the woods right now because there is standing timber (for those not familiar with logging lingo, that means trees that have been partially cut at the base but not yet felled). This means the trees could fall in a high wind. And if someone were in the woods they could get killed. Also since we have loggers actively working in the woods if the trespassing hunters let loose a bad shot, they could easily kill someone.

These folks didn't ask permission to be here. In fact they'd been told not to be (several years ago). Our property is posted and we paid extra to our surveyor to have it clearly marked with property ribbon.

None of this has helped.

So it came to a head. And our direct lot line neighbor is now offended that we don't want her and hers on our place. So she's decided that part of our driveway - a road that had been in place for years before we even bought the property and that we have used for the past six years without incident - is actually on her land.

The funny thing is - if it is, then we'll move it. Because I believe in property rights. But in the meantime she is being ugly by blocking the drive and refusing to wait until we have the surveyor back to verify the line. And I've been forced to call in the law. Just because she says it's so doesn't mean it's true. That's why surveyors get paid.

I hate this. But I believe in property rights - and I'll fight for mine if I have to.

Update: this has all worked out fine. We're back on speaking terms and even puppy playing terms (our dogs play together). By the Tuesday after she told us of the driveway issue we'd talked, hugged, and agreed to have the surveyor come out and tell us where the real line actually was. Of course we'd also extended the driveway ten feet away from her side. Note that we widened the driveway before knowing the survey outcome - we wanted a wider turn-in anyway and this way we showed that we were reasonable neighbors. Turns out to be a good thing too - the property line did turn slightly into the road (about 2 feet out of a 20 foot entrance) at the very end of the drive (about 2 feet back from the town road). Not a lot, but important. But since we'd already done the work to widen the drive, we didn't have to get upset. And we showed that property lines are important to us. 

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