You might need permission from the local government officials. It
doesn't take much for a draw to be called a stream.
A local farmer wanted to do some work to his farm to run an
irrigation system. I think even the Army Corps of Engineers got
involved. This draw was dry most of the time. It had running water in
the spring during the snow melt and maybe sometimes after a heavy rain.
Another problem might be if your land is called a wetland. Has a
duck landed there in the last 5000 years or so? I'd suggest doing a
little checking before you start.
Good advice. My BIL bought some acreage, and had a front end loader. He
cleaned up the "bottom", clearing downed wood and trash that had
accumulated, and building a berm so that the water would run just down the
"draw", and not all over his property, which then turned to pudding.
He has a neighbor who thinks he owns the world. The neighbor called the
state. BIL got a registered letter to cease and desist until an
investigator could inspect what he had done already, stating that if he had
violated the law, he would be tortured, and his children sterilized, or
something to that effect.
The inspector came and inspected as all good inspectors do. My BIL, in his
usual way, started talking to the man before he got out of his truck, and by
the time he left, found out that they were distantly related (Everyone in
Utah is anyway) and knew some of the same people. The inspector said that
he had very much improved the flow of the channel, but that since it WAS an
existing channel, that he should have gotten a permit and permission first.
Score one for the neighbor. He added that since he had done it so well,
that he was not going to cite him, but that next time, call first. He then
went to the neighbor, thanked him for being a snitch, and that he had issued
a warning to my BIL not to do it again. He also inspected the neighbor's
lot, and issued him a warning to clear the downed wood along the creekside,
and reduce the fire hazard. If the neighbor hadn't been a dick, my BIL
would have done it for fuel, but now the neighbor had to pay to get it done.
Score one for BIL.
So, for a few days, my BIL was worried. And, he could have been fined if he
had done it incorrectly. My BIL asked about the sterilization of his
children, but the agent said that it was not a serious enough offense. THIS
Moral, ask first. It could go either way, for or against you.
At least he didn't suffer the fate of one building contractor who
dug a foundation for a building. It rained the next day and some
government official showed up and informed the contractor that the
flooded excavation was now a wetland and couldn't be pumped out. I
wish I had a link to the story, perhaps a search because I read it
some years ago. It's a shame this nonsense has been going on for so
long that we often forget it.
On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 13:46:12 -0500, The Daring Dufas
Me too because the Reahard case in Lee County Florida established that
if a property was not a wetland when you bought it, if it is declared
a wetland later it is a "taking" and you deserve just compensation.
$22 million in that case (40 acres)
It was years ago and a couple or three administrations back. I
recall another story about some guy in California who planned
to drain and develop some land he bought. Some Fed shows up and
informs him that his property is the habitat of some snail and
he is prohibited from destroying the habitat. And I do remember
watching some TV show some years ago where a group of Negro men
wanted all black males declared an endangered species by The
Interior Department and have their own habitat and laws against
molesting them. Darn, who wouldn't be jealous of animals that
seem to have more rights and protections provided by The Federal
Government than human beings have. Imagine not being able to
clear out a group of homeless men under a bridge because The
Federal Government has declared it to be their habitat. GEEEZ!
On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 20:03:03 -0500, The Daring Dufas
The Reahard case is from the late 80s and pretty much covers any
change in the zoning or environmental status of a property that will
affect your ability to develop it. If you bought a property without a
restriction and the government applies a restriction later it is a
taking. They have to pay.
It went all the way up to the 11th US District court that ruled for
the landowner. It was appealed to the SCOTUS who let the district
court ruling stand.
I thought of Klamath Falls which isn't quite the same scenario.
Farmers were denied irrigation water they normally got because the water
had to be saved for some sort of varmint. I don't know the outcome of
For some strange reason water rights are not the same as property
rights and the government usually owns the water ultimately, only
granting permits for the land owner to use it.
I really believe we will run out of water long before we run out of
Boulders work beautifully, and they can be very attractive landscape. Easy
to trim around with a weedeater. All you have to do is water them and
polish them occasionally. I have some old satellite dishes that are about
two feet in diameter I have put on top of mine, drilling holes and inserting
three pieces of rebar for supports. Brings in the birds for watching, or
squirrels for stew. Yummy!
That does sound like a good idea if only cars are involved, but I'm
wonderng if the big trucks will push the boulders farther onto his
lawn and there will be another fight about that.
The OP says nothing about discussions with the land owner next door,
whether he is cooperative, whether he owns the trucks or they are
visiting trucks. In other words, how much direct control he has over
them. I also wonder if there is any indication of where the boundary
is. If the original boundary has been crushed to death and it looks
like the boundary is 2 feet further in, then it's not surprisign that
once in a while someone goes two inches beyond that, and so on. A
method need be made to mark the boundary in a way that isn't erased
when a truck or several drive over it. The bouldrers sound good for
that, but there must be other ways too.
There's a fellow with land next to a beautiful lake in Eastern Alabama
who discovered that "No Trespassing" signs don't work for fishermen's
pickup trucks. He installed a line of pickup truck sized boulders that
can't be ignored. Not sure what size you would need for dump trucks.
Perhaps some axle busting cross ties 3/4 vertically buried linked with
some big chain?
3-foot pieces of railroad track welded together in tripod fashion work
pretty well, but can still be moved when needed.
Ask your local code guy. Do posts in the ground five feet apart, with
nothing between them, still count as a fence and fall under the setback
rules? You could always hang birdfeeders and pots of flowers from them.
If you wanna grind their noses in it, they sell those bright yellow
plastic caps to drop over the steel pipes, like around the pump islands
at the gas stations. 'Bollards', I think, is what the parking lot guys
I can't remember- do you have a good survey, and have you verified your
corner pegs? And have you read the deed closely, to make sure they don't
have an access easement across the strip in question? Around here,
shared mutual easements for the border strip are pretty common, due to
abutting narrow driveway lanes.
If you can post pictures and a dimensioned plat diagram (including that
half of neighbor's property) someplace, with a link back here, we could
maybe make some actually useful suggestions.
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