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Do you need to move your fence? Argument over servitude coming to close

1 month 2 days 23 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 October 17, 2019 6:29 PM October 17, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - A letter will soon be coming in the mail, and it might mean that some residents will have to tear down and move their fences.

Last week, 2 On Your Side reported from Arbor Walk in Denham Springs. Residents there have been in limbo between the HOA, Livingston Parish, and neighborhood developer DSLD about what to do with their property.

Wooden stakes were placed around property lines and servitude this past summer. Since then, residents have been wondering what they mean. Brittni Boudreaux is under the impression that part of her fence is in the servitude and she'll have to spend money to move it.

"I mean, it's five inches. So I just don't understand," Boudreaux said.

It's something the residents of Arbor Walk have been talking about for the last year. Do they need to move their fence or not? And where do they need to move it to? Jason Berry with DSLD told WBRZ Thursday that the information has officially been decided.

"The homeowners will get a letter in the mail saying if you have to move the fence, or if you're within the servitude, if you're correct," Berry said.

Livingston Parish has taken over the maintenance of drainage between homes from homeowner association company Community Management, LLC.

"They determined they didn't have enough access in some areas so they started their survey process to determine people that were over," resident Scott Grimes said.

Over the summer, Grimes learned his fence was inches over the servitude so he hired someone to move it back about a foot. While some people, including Grimes, have been told that their fence line has been given the green light, there are about 30 other homeowners in Arbor Walk that are about to be told their fence needs to move.

But some residents, including Boudreaux, are wondering how they got there in the first place. Before her fence was built, she submitted plans to Community Management for approval. She says the plans included information about lot lines, servitude information, and fence design.

"And they approved it," she said.

Thursday, 2 On Your Side learned from the Livingston Parish Department of Public Works that it's only responsible for maintaining the drainage. DSLD says the plan is to bring in a machine, mow the tall grass, and make the drainage area more defied. It'll be the homeowner's responsibility to maintain.

"We're going to get it to a maintainable state and then it'll be on the homeowners, because that is actually their property," Berry said.

DPW says it's giving homeowners until January 1, 2020, to move their fences if they're asked to do so. If they don't, DPW could remove the fence from the servitude themselves and it will be up to the homeowner to put it back.

WBRZ has reached out to Arbor Walk's HOA, Community Management, LLC, and has not heard back.

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