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People start moving fences in DSLD neighborhood, incur costs

1 year 3 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, January 04 2023 Jan 4, 2023 January 04, 2023 9:42 PM January 04, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - Some homeowners in Hunter's Ridge have already started moving their fences after they were told they had built them in the servitude. One woman, who says she followed all the rules, isn't happy that this is coming back to haunt her three years later.

"It's ridiculous," said Tamara Beard.

Ridiculous that after three years, Beard is being told she has to move her fence. When she moved to Hunter's Ridge in Denham Springs she was looking for an elevated neighborhood, with a backyard for her dogs to roam. Now she's being told she has to move her fence eight feet closer to her house so the parish can get a machine through the canal to clear weeds and trees. It will shrink her yard considerably.

"If you want a pool, forget it," she said.

Beard was one of the first people to move into the DSLD neighborhood. Before she fenced in her yard she made sure the developer and the HOA, Community Management, signed off on the plans. Last month, 2 On Your Side spoke with her about her concerns since she had followed all of the instructions.

Turns out, her plan approval was for nothing, since she's being told her fence is eight feet in the servitude. Beard has to pay to get it moved so the parish can clean the space between yards. She says her property line is already about 15 feet into the canal.

"That's probably about 25 feet of backyard we're losing - that's a lot - and you have to keep it up!" she said.

The parish will not continue to maintain the area between the homes, it'll be the responsibility of the property owner to keep the space behind their house clean.

A surveyor visited the subdivision weeks ago to measure out where the parish says the fences should have gone in the first place. On December 9, that surveyor confirmed the stakes are marked correctly.

Livingston parish says then when the fences were originally installed it was simply put in the wrong place by the fence installer. Beard says that there's no way that 17 homeowner in her area had the same experience with the same fence installer.

"Two prominent fence companies in this area told me that they constantly have this problem with DSLD," said Beard.

This isn't the first time people living in a DSLD neighborhood have been told to move their fence for the same reason. In 2019, at least 33 homeowners living in Arbor Walk were mailed letters tell them to move their fences or the parish would. The parish removed 29 fences months later. Similar questions were brought up then, since it involves the same parish, developer, and HOA.

"It's stupidity," said Beard. "If you make the same error over and over and over shouldn't you learn from it?"

So far, eight property owners have moved their fences at their own expense. Beard says estimates show she'll be paying upwards of $3,000 to replace the back section and add a gate.

The parish says it's ultimately the homeowner's responsibility to make sure the job was done right. Beard and others have been given a few more weeks to get their fences in compliance before the parish removes it themselves.

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