Owners of fences encroaching on town's park property must apply for permits | August 1, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

News - August 1, 2018

Owners of fences encroaching on town's park property must apply for permits

by Barbara Wood

Atherton has sent letters to Menlo Park property owners whose Felton Gables' backyards abut Holbrook-Palmer Park, informing them that their fences are on town property and they must apply for encroachment permits if they want to keep them there.

The letters also warn property owners who have gates into the park that they are a liability and the town recommends they be removed.

"The Town will not be liable for any loss, damage or injury associated with gates located along the perimeter fence. Should you intend to keep an access gate, please indicate so on your permit application," the letters say.

The usual $191.50 charge for an encroachment permit is being waived for property owners who respond by Sept. 15, but the letter warns that if an encroachment permit is not applied for, the homeowners may have to pay to move the fences to the property line.

The letters say that when fences are repaired or replaced they will have to be moved.

Property owners who have gates are also being asked to name the town as an insured party on their homeowner's insurance.

A report to the City Council about the matter says 21 private residences border the park, four in Atherton along Lane Place and 17 in Menlo Park in the Felton Gables neighborhood.

A recent boundary survey of the park showed that 16 of the Felton Gables homes' fences are on Atherton property, but also that the fences bounding the Lane Place homes are actually five feet inside the homeowners' yards.

Council members and town officials said they feared the situation could be a liability problem for the town.

The town is also letting the Lane Place homeowners know that the town will support any applications to move their fences to the property line.

Town officials said the letters would be sent as registered mail to be sure they are received, and homeowners who need encroachment permits but don't apply for them will be subjected to the town's code enforcement procedures.

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