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For many years, more than ten, there has been a steel bus shelter hut next to the Terrace in Everett. It was erected by an outdoor advertising agency in Chambersburg. When we were contacted, many years ago, by the outdoor advertising agency regarding the erection of a bus shelter hut next to the property, we said "Thank you, no. We're really not interested. Try talking to our Neighbors."
In due course, a bus shelter hut was erected. We assumed that the outdoor advertising agency had reached an agreement with the Neighbors and that the bus shelter hut had been placed on THEIR property, near (but not on) our property.
This winter, in the high winds of Sandy, the bus shelter hut blew over. Some weeks later, I received a phone call from the Everett Borough Police informing me that "MY" bus shelter hut, having blown over, was a dangerous eyesore and that I needed to remove or repair the bus shelter hut remains promptly. OR ELSE.
I attempted to explain to the Borough Police that it was NOT "MY" bus shelter hut and that it belonged to the Neighbors and that there was no way that we had ever given any permission for a bus shelter hut on our property ever. I also explained that we got no money from the bus shelter hut and that we were not even remotely in the habit of doing things for free. I mentioned that we had no record of a contract for a bus shelter hut, like, ever. And I allowed as how Dad had been contacted by the Outdoor Advertising People and said no and suggested that they talk to the Neighbors, whereupon the bus shelter appeared.
And the Borough Police told me to shut up and listen. They told me that they had talked to the Everett Borough Manager and that they had talked to the Neighbors and that EVERYONE alleged that it was MY bus shelter hut and would I please go remove or repair the bus shelter hut FORTHWITH. OR ELSE.
So I removed the bus shelter hut. Some weeks passed. As I was leaving the property to go to lunch today, I noticed two men and a truck and a trailer and, upon that trailer, a Bus Shelter Hut. Said men and truck and trailer and bus shelter hut were located very near the concrete pad from which I had just recently removed a bus shelter hut.
The Outdoor Advertising People helpfully faxed us the contract they have with the Neighbors. It is NOT MY BUS SHELTER HUT and I SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO BLOODY WELL REMOVE IT and I have proof.
Well, actually, it might be my bus shelter hut. But, hell, we figured the school district wouldn't be so stupid as to allow a company to place an outdoor advertising structure on property that it DID NOT OWN.
Our property line ends at the border of the borough. The border of the borough, according to the maps I have available, is beyond the edge of the shed by what appears to be approximately fifty feet. Oops.
Using the magic of image editing, I have produced a picture. Two pictures, actually.
Here's an airplane view of part of the property. The shed is circled in red so that you can see it. It is not a particularly large structure.
And here's a superimposed image of the property (and surrounding streets) on top of a map of the borough (including streets that I have carefully matched up so as to put the Neighbor's road on the Neighbor's property even though this makes the paved road "Karns Avenue" halfway in people's yards). Our property line on the east is the Borough Boundary Line, the heavy black dotted line in the image. Assorted efforts at image editing suggest rather strongly that either half of our uppermost building (on site since the 1960's) is on the Neighbor's property OR the bus shelter hut is on our property. Guess which one I'm voting for? :)
In all of this, either way I am right. Either the bus shelter hut is NOT on my property and it was NOT my responsibility to tear it down (In which case I am right and justifiably angry for having to deconstruct the damn thing in the sleet in January) OR the bus shelter hut is now and has always been on my property and the Neighbor has been, for the last ten or so years, illegally collecting monies as a result of illegally leasing land it DOES NOT OWN to the Outdoor Advertising Agency in exchange for the hut (In which case I am right and justifiably angry). Either way, I get to be right and They get to be Wrong. :) Good times.Edited at 2013-02-09 01:31 am (UTC)
Oh, and the maps do not get prettier when you do a larger section of the borough. They get worse. If you include N. River Lane, it appears that the Neighbor's road may not be entirely on the Neighbor's property. I really think we might be best served by getting a survey done to settle the issue clearly and permanently.
Could this lead to suits and settlements?
There is no money. There is never any money. Lawsuits only make lawyers rich. We need to do further research -- perhaps our deed from the IRS is not correct, perhaps Mr. John P. Caro sold part of the property off and the IRS missed it in the deed research before the sale, perhaps the penn dot maps of the borough boundaries are not drawn to scale, perhaps google maps photos distort the image enough to cause problems... One wishes to be very, very sure before proceeding with this sort of thing. But even so, about the best we can hope for is a written apology, reasonable sums (under 1K) for shed removal and lawyer costs, and a meeting to determine where exactly the boundary is. There is no million dollar bucket of gold out there.
|Date:||February 11th, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)|| |
Ah, however, the glories of having one's face branded T and L, for thief and liar, will be recompense enough.Oh, that's right, we don't do that any more in these civilized times. We just lie and steal with no visible punishment.
|Date:||February 11th, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)|| |
The tone of those exchanges with the authorities rather sounds like you or someone they might associate with you, such as a prominent tenant, might have done something to cheese off the Borough Police of Everett. Long-term, that might be a more important matter than the bus shelter.
We never did anything to the Borough Police. They just called us up and demanded that we remove or repair the shed. I tried to tell them that it was not my shed and they wouldn't listen. They alleged that they had spoken to the Neighbor and to the Borough and that everyone involved said it was my shed and that I should repair or remove it OR ELSE. So I removed it. And then we sent a bill for shed removal to the school district. The school district ignored the bill. Once we discovered the school district was receiving money for the shed, we sent the school district another letter and spoke with them this Monday. Now the school district's attorney wants to have me charged with defiant trespass and willful destruction of property.