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Parish asking people to move fences again, more DSLD residents affected

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DENHAM SPRINGS - At least 17 homeowners were mailed letters in October letting them know that their fence is not in compliance with the parish. Those homeowners would have to move their fences to accommodate the servitude and allow the parish to maintain the drainage.

Tamara Beard received one of those letters and isn't happy. She was one of the first three people to move into Hunter's Ridge in 2019.

"I'm so angry you have no idea."

Prior to moving it, she petitioned both DSLD and her HOA Community Management to sign off on her fence plans. She received confirmation from Community Management via email that says her request is approved, honoring the servitude, and to call if she had any questions.

"So I did, I called them and I said, 'honoring the servitude means you'll never tear down my fence,' they said 'yes, ma'am,'" Beard recalled.

The reason Beard needs a fence is that she has large dogs. Her 11-year-old huskie Apollo loves to be outside but cannot have an open backyard. She fears that if the dogs get out they'll get lost or killed.

A letter was mailed to at least 17 homeowners in either Hunter's Ridge first and second filing and Arbor Walk seventh filing regarding their fences. The letter was sent from the HOA to the homeowners that "did not abide by the servitudes when their fences were erected." Community Management is the management company for the HOA in both Hunter's Ridge and Arbor Walk.

DSLD says it walked the property with the Livingston Parish Department of Public Works in October with a surveyor identifying encroachments and putting out markers.

In Beard's case, a marker was placed eight feet away from her rear fence line, which means if her fence is torn down she'll lose about eight feet of her backyard.

"I'm scared to walk out with no kind of fencing where the enclosure is secure, coyotes can get in, raccoons, rats, you name it."

Apollo isn't safe either—he'll no longer have a fenced-in yard.

The parish says it needs about 15 feet to get through the servitude with a tractor. We didn't have a tape measure, but while at Beard's house on Monday our crew noted the space between fences already surpasses 15 feet.

Beard says if the new marker really shows where her new fence should be, then someone made a mistake a few years ago and she doesn't think it was her.

"What you approved is what you approved and if it was an error then they should pay for any changes," she said.

If her fence is torn down by the parish she won't be able to put it back up. The funds are not in her budget.

There isn't much time, according to the letter homeowners have until December 10th to make changes or the parish will step in. DSLD and the parish both say they plan to investigate Beard's case further.

A very similar situation happened in Arbor Walk in 2019. At least 33 homeowners were mailed letters about their fences encroaching on the servitude. In 2020 the parish removed 29 fences. Now, the process is happening again.


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