Get Off My Land!

Man have things changed.  We’re no longer the hip young couple in the old farm house.  We’ve moved on to being the crotchety couple in the farm house (though we have yet to garner the classification of ‘old’).  The old people are what started this.

We have a decent amount of land just outside of Trenton Ohio that surrounds the 3 acres that our house sits on.   On that 13 acres, my in-laws are building a house.   Ask me in 5-10 years if that was a good idea or not.

As a result of this we (they) had to have our property surveyed so that we could get a legal description of the land we’re giving them (or allowing them) to build on.

This has turned up two areas of encroachment.  One we were aware of and one that we were not.

In the front of our property (see drawing), we knew there was a small triangular piece of property that is actually ours.  The previous owners told us about it when we bought the place.   But they had a gentleman’s agreement with the neighbor at the time to allow them to fence a squared off area.   When we moved in they had goats in that small field, and later a cow.

Those neighbors have since moved on, a victim of the mortgage crisis before there was a crisis. (More a victim of common sense than anything but I digress).  The new owner uses the property as rental property.  When we met them we discussed the area in question but it wasn’t a big deal to us.   Now that the land has been surveyed it is a big deal.

It seems if you don’t protect your property, it will be squatted on and you’ll lose it.  By us continuing to permit them to have our land fenced, we’re risking losing it.   20 feet of road frontage is not something we wish to lose so we now we need to enforce the property lines.   As it turns out, the entire west side of the neighbors fence is on our property and will likely need to be removed.

We have an issue at the back of our property as well.


The Delaware Crossing subdivision behind us and to the west is legendary.  It’s been tied up in legal issues from day one.  The builder we believe went bankrupt and the City of Trenton now owns the property.

At the back of our property, there’s a small park for the subdivision.  A couple basketball courts, and play equipment.

The problem is where they ran the walking path, or the access path to get to this park.  It was originally supposed to go between two houses as you can see in the picture.   But apparently the folks who live in those houses didn’t like that.  So the neighbor closest to us suggested they run it along our fence line and his side yard.   The developer agreed.  The only problem was they paid no attention to the property lines.

It looks something like this:


The sad part about it, is that they had to tear down some of our fence to make this happen.

So here we go again.  We have to re-establish our boundaries or we risk losing this piece of land.

Our initial thought was to simply lease it to them.   But there is no ‘them’.  The homeowners association in Delaware Crossing is defunct.   The city now maintains the park, well they city and the residents that back up to it somewhat share that burden.

If we fence it, it will block their access.  They won’t be able to get a vehicle back to the part without tearing up our neighbors yard, and even then it will be tight, very tight.

We’ve talked to them and they will likely fence from our fence to their house which will kill all access to the park.

The City is encouraging us to put our fence back.  If people can’t use the park they don’t have to maintain it.

So the question becomes, what kind of fence?  Because what ever we put back there will be vandalized, you can count on that.

So if you have any ideas or suggestions, post them up we’re all ears.  Of course we want to enforce all of this with as little out of pocket expense as possible.

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