Building a Fence on Common Driveway

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Latest post 12-01-2009 4:40 PM by Drew. 28 replies.
  • 11-23-2009 4:13 PM

    Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    My backyard neighbor got a permit to build a fence along a common driveway owned by them, and the fence will run along my property line.  The fence will unduely block access to my property.  Do they have the right to build a fence on a common driveway along my yard line? Does the right-of-way line belong to me as I own the yard abuts the street (driveway)?  Anyone?

  • 11-23-2009 4:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    I can't picture the layout.

    How can it be a common driveway if the neighbor owns it?

    Do you have a recorded easement?

    Can you draw a diagram, scan it, post it on photobucket, and provide a link?

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 11-23-2009 9:59 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    I agree- had to follow who owns what or who has easement where....



  • 11-24-2009 11:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    Thanks. I like to show you the layout, but don't know how to.  Here is a carton drawing:

    house A   &nb... House B

    ______    &nbs... ________   

       &nbs... | d   |

    hous C  | ri   | my house

       &nbs... | ve |

       &nbs... | way|

    _____  &nbsp... ________

       &nbs... street

     

    Ok can you picture it?

    Anyway, house A and B own two strips of land and jointly built a common driveway upon subdivision.  House C and my house are 50 years old.  An easement was recorded that both house C and my house have rights of way to use the driveway for ingress and egress to the garage and dwelling.  The driveway abuts my yard line and garage openning, and provide access to my front door, garden, outside parking space, backdoor entrance, garage, and backyard.

    Since the common driveway abuts my yard line, I think I have the right-of-way to the borderline.  Can anyone refer me to any reference about right-of-way line?  The town said the easement is a "private agreement" and they don't want to be involved, but they issued a permit.  The fence will block access to my house except the garage and backdoor entrance.  I am trying to reason with them through laws and regulations to avoid a costly lawsuit later on, if they did build the fence.

    Please help.

     

  • 11-24-2009 11:55 AM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    Sorry, still can't picture it.

    I suggest you talk to an attorney who's experienced with boundary disputes and have that easement examined.

    A consult could be free or low cost and you might get some tips on how to handle the neighbor without litigating.

    The town issued the permit because he's meeting the code requirements. The town has nothing to do with the dispute between you and the neighbor.

    Jacki101:
    The fence will block access to my house except the garage and backdoor entrance.

    Then you won't have "no access". You'll still be able to use one side of the driveway to get in and out of your garage. Is that right?

    Does the written easement give a legal description of the section of the driveway that can be translated into dimensions and position of the area that you've been granted easement on? Or does it just say driveway?

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 11-24-2009 12:31 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    • Joined on 03-30-2000
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    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    I think I follow your sketch--but the answer lies in what the actual  words of the easement say and possibly who wrote it .

    The narrow view might be that access is limited to  specific area of driveway and one pedestrian path from ROW to your dwelling --the broader view might be you are free to use any place(s) you chose to cross from  ROW to your dwelling and garage --and it its NOT clear then side that wrote the fuzzy language gets to eat the problems.

     

    The town rules probably don't apply to a private easement --put perhaps they do specify minimun widths for  car turning  etc.

     

    Me, If I have  need for  say 4-6 possible access paths from ROW --I'd be out there tonight with some pavers or boards or something and lay out  say  5 MORE paths from ROW into my doors, garage, parking , front doors  --if easement says garage and dwelling a path to garden might not cut it--but if there is possible need for 6 paths to separate garage and doors I'd lay in 6 paths and insist that ALL remain  totally unobstructed--and I'd use chain saw to keep pathways open!   But thats just me.  But I'd have pathways in place before fence crew got here!

     

    In my town there are some rules about boundary fences and fences along  roadways as to set backs and sight lines--and  if you look at some permit applications they sort of "forget" to include a whole lot of relevant data and they get permits via inaccurate applications --so I'd go read the actual permit application on file with town--copy it and see if layout conflict with any rules on point as to setbacks, sight lines and all that stuff. --if application was "defective" that may be grounds for town to vacate permit.

     

     

     



  • 11-24-2009 2:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    Thanks! This is most helpful and I have been thinking about doing just what you would do. 

    Therefore, the neighbor is using the narrow view of the easement to limit our access to garage and dwelling (their purpose is to block my access to two outside parkings next to the garage, so that only two cars can use the driveway, unfortunately we have 4 cars and no where else to park).

    In fact, we and previous owners have used the driveway to cross anywhere we wish, all the way to their private front driveway - by foot there for backyard purpose.

    I heard that a paved walkway is required to argue for ingress and egress, is this correct?  When I look up definition of ingress and egress, there is no mention about "pave or concrete" walkway.  We have a stone walkway leading to the front door, and they will block that!  The parking spots are improved with rocks, but I just put on some concrete on it a few days ago, they will block that too.  For the backyard, it is just grass, but maintenance vehicle will not be able to get to it after the fence is built. 

    I guess i need to get a permit to put down any concrete, right?  How about if I just pour some rocks to the backyard path, does that count?

    Thanks again.

     

     

     

  • 11-24-2009 2:25 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    I'm not a lawyer nor do I know words in easement--one might argue if access to a parking area is in or out of easement--depends.

     

    I fail to buy that a walkway needs to be paved so as to count for easement purposes or even a parking area needs to be paved  --but there could be such dribble in codes. --and locally the use of precast pavers seems to be a total non issue but I'm not there---....I'd stop at Lowes and get a load of pavers and have them in pronto.

    How long has your crossing been going one--look up prescriptive easement law for your state....

    Look up state trespassing laws  and post your lands and give notice as to trespassing--posture that any contractor or neighbor who sets 1 foot on your side of line is likley to get arrested!  And mean it!



  • 11-24-2009 3:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    Great! Thanks for giving me hopes. Precased pavers don't need permit here. 

    The crossing has been going on since the house was build 50 years ago, I think.  Easements were entered by prior owners, one before subdivision in 1976, and one upon subdivision on 1990.  The wordings are vague, and we are even fighting with their lawyer that it permits access to dwelling, not just to garage.  The definition of "dwelling", well, I would like it to include backyard, garden, parking, front yard, or the entire premises, and these crossings have all been there for at least 20 years, thus allowing prescriptiion easement by law here.  I have previous owner on my side, I think.

    I will look up trespassing laws here.  Notice has been given to their lawyer, but yes I should post the notice on my property line.  Thanks again.

     

  • 11-24-2009 3:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    I think the bottom line here is that you need to have the easement document examined to determine exactly what you have access to.

    You haven't addressed that.

    Don't get sidetracked with anything else until you find that out.

    Getting it wrong could cost you a great deal of money.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 11-24-2009 4:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    "as driveway purpose for ingress and egress to the dwelling and garage" that's all.  What is your interpretation? Can you tell my your interpretation of what we can and cannot do on the driveway and where we can access the property?

  • 11-24-2009 4:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    Jacki101:
    "as driveway purpose for ingress and egress to the dwelling and garage" that's all. What is your interpretation?

    Well, my interpretation of that is if you can still drive up to your garage and get to your back door, that's all you get.

    Sorry.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 11-24-2009 6:46 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
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    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    Guess you need a 50' wide driveway?



  • 11-24-2009 9:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Building a Fence on Common Driveway

    I don't need anyone to tell me to give up my rights.  Your comments are not targeted to questions and not helpful at all.  Your interpretation is also not correct.  I don't think they can block any existing entrances to the property. Well, this is not the only bad thing this neighbor has done. If I don't fight back, there will be more to come. 

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