Some Eagle homes sit on open space |

Some Eagle homes sit on open space

EAGLE ” Some Terrace homeowners learned this week that parts of their backyards aren’t really their property ” the land is actually town of Eagle open space.

The issue came to light when the town recently annexed the “spud cellar” open space property and surveyed the property’s boundaries. The parcel is located north and east of the Terrace subdivision. One of the property boundaries abuts eight houses located along Ringneck. The survey showed some of the backyards for those homes are spilling over on to the town’s property.

“How the encroachments occurred … who knows?” said Bill Heicher, Eagle open space coordinator. “Maybe people looked at the old barbed wired fence and thought that was the property line. But the survey showed it was not.”

The main problem is landscaping that spills onto the open space property, but playground equipment, trampolines and fencing have been set in the contested areas.

There are two major reasons why the town needs to resolve the issue, Heicher said.

The first revolves around the alignment of a yet-to-be-constructed bike/pedestrian path branching from the existing Terrace path to the pool and ice rink. The second involves a conservation easement on the property that specifically states the land will preserved in its natural state. This second issue is particularly a concern to the Eagle Valley Land Trust, which has contacted the town urging that the situation be resolved.

“I don’t see this (the property encroachment) as a major issue,” Heicher said. “Right now the town is sending letters out to all the homeowners asking for their assistance in locating the property corners. We need to see, on the ground, what the property line is.”

According to Eagle Town Manager Willy Powell, the town is obligated to respond to the Land Trust with a plan of action. “We have a responsibility, as the land owner to maintain this property as open space,” he said. That’s why the town contacted the affected property owners this week and has scheduled a Sept. 6 meeting to discuss the issue.

“We are hoping for an amicable resolution to all this,” Powell said.

This story first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.

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