Inquirer: Reader complains about overgrown easement; owner agrees to mow it next year

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 8, 2012 

According to Dire Straits, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.

Well, we're having a bug of a week here at Inquirer Central. I haven't struck out this much since high school.

First, I had two promising Inquiries fall flat before I finally hit on one I thought would be a winner.

Concerned Reader Michael Bragg lives on Affirm Lane out on the north end of town. A wide swath of vacant land, maybe 20 feet or more wide, runs along the back fences of Bragg and his neighbors.

Bragg sent me an email along with three pictures (one of which you see before you) explaining the problem. The land is a Plantation Pipeline Co. easement and when he complained to them, they told him they only have to mow it once every two years, so they're not planning to come out and cut until next year.

"The growth is at least six feet high and is steadily encroaching through my fence," he wrote. "This is a drainage area and with the tremendous growth, does not flow out, but tends to flood our yards."

This didn't sound right to me. If you or I didn't cut our grass for two years, the city would be all over us, not to mention our wives.

So I called Pat Biegler, director of Public Services, whose department oversees such things. She did some checking and told me it is in fact an easement for a gas company, and that easement agreements lay out what kind of maintenance is required of the user.

It's not unusual, she said, for the agreement to require only annual cutting, but two years would be out of the ordinary. Not unheard of, but not the norm. But it was late Friday, and she didn't have access to the agreement.

So I'm going to try to get a look at the easement agreement this week and we'll revisit it next week. In the meantime, we're the

bug.

Update

And speaking of such, you'll no doubt recall Staff. Sgt. Alfred Weaver, whose neighbor has a jungle in his back yard, the likes of which you could shoot a Tarzan movie in. The city said it would send a crew out to have a look.

Instead, they sent out a windshield.

Writes Weaver:

"While I was out on a day of fishing, my wife told me the city investigator came and looked at the property next door and said it (city) is only worried about 'weeds and grass' over 18 inches high!

"I am so mad right now I could chew railroad spikes and spit nails!

"He did not even provide any proof, any rules or regulations or cite any such ordnance about the city's stance on subject!"

Calm down, Sarge. While I'm checking on Bragg's situation, I'll check in with Special Enforcement and see why it's OK for your neighbor to maintain a varmint farm next door.

Maybe it's an easement.

Seen something that needs fixing? Don't waste your time calling me.

Just kidding.

I'm at mowen@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8570.

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