Town of Castor denies encroachment request

At issue were two flower gardens, three trees, a child’s play structure and a garden shed

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

A Town of Castor resident has appealed to Town council for an encroachment agreement.

The request comes after the 48th St. resident received a letter from the Town identifying several encroachments onto Town owned property that needed to be corrected. At issue were two flower gardens, three trees, a child’s play structure and a garden shed which are either in whole or in part on Town of Castor land.

“My lot is very unique in town, because it is a triangle,” said the resident.

“When I built my house, it took up every square inch (of property) to build it.”

Part of the home does cross onto Town property, however that was the only variance requested, and allowed, when the home was built.

However, when council reviewed photos attached to the meeting package, they saw that the one allowed variance was not the only place where the property spilled over onto Town-owned land.

A set of steps leading off the home’s patio ended on Town-owned property, and a garden shed on the side of the home crossed the property line as well.

Other encroachments visible in the photos indicated that two gardens and the child’s play structure were entirely on Town-owned property.

“The CAO can make simple encroachment agreements,” said Town of Castor Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee, before explaining that due to the extent of the encroachments, he felt that they should be brought before council.

A question of liability was brought forward regarding the steps that ended on Town property that came off the deck.

Robblee told council that seeing as the steps ended on Town property, technically speaking, if someone were to become injured on the steps that the Town of Castor could be held liable.

Another complicating factor is that one of the gardens is technically built in an alleyway, though it has not been maintained by the Town.

“That alley (needs to be) free and clear for all residents (on the street),” said Mayor Richard Elhard, during the discussion.

“Those steps have got to go,” said Coun. Trudy Kilner when asked for her opinion.

After the discussion Coun. Rod Zinger put forward a motion to not allow any encroachment onto Town property and that the alley remain clear for all residents to access.

The motion was carried, and the resident will be notified by letter about council’s decision.

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