Imagine purchasing a home and living in it and paying taxes on that home and property for decades.
Then being told part of that property you paid taxes on is in violation and must be being taken away without compensation.
Not only that, you’re responsible for footing the cost of removing the stuff you have on that land, like your fence or shed. Oh, and it has to be done in a few months time.
Well, that’s what residents say the City of Sacramento, California has told them.
Ray and Kathy Hillier, who are in their 80s, have lived in their South Land Park neighborhood for more than four decades, according to CBS Local.
Their home edges on where the City plans to build the future Del Rio Trail.
A letter they got in early May told them their backyard is 21-feet over the property line and that they need to remove their fence, shed, and other items that are over the line by July 31.
Kathy says her husband is unable to do this work himself and that she wasn’t warned about this.
She also is confused by the City’s explanation of their property line.
Other neighbors said they also got the letter saying they have to tear down fences to make way for the pedestrian and bike path that was approved in 2019 and runs from the Sacramento River Parkway to Freeport Shores Bike trail.
“I think it’s just a chicken thing to all of a sudden boom! We were told other encroachments were going to be grandfathered in,” Virgil Pierini said.
“Why didn’t they say ‘Okay, you have a year to get this done?’ I think they stretched it out so if anybody wanted to fight it they don’t have much time.”
The letter also threatens to take legal action against residents who do not comply with the deadline and warns that the City will remove the encroachments at the homeowner’s expense.
Some of the residents are planning to ban together to fight the measure.
So far, the City has completed its land survey and is in the process of implementing the trail’s construction.
The City says that the alleged encroachments must be removed so that the project can be constructed and used by the public.
Owners can request an extension and the City says they are seeking to work with residents to find solutions that will allow the project to move forward.
“If an owner would like to request an extension, the City asks that the property owners contact the City with an alternate schedule for removing any encroachments,” a statement from the City sent to FOX 40 reads.
“The City will consider each instance on a case-by-case basis. If someone believes they have a legal right to occupy the area of encroachment, they can send the easement or other document granting such right to the Public Works contact listed at the bottom of the letter.”
“Community and stakeholder input has been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition. The City will work cooperatively with homeowners to see that the encroachments are removed and find solutions that allow the trail to move forward to benefit the entire community.”
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