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Zoning Officer Surveys Rail Trail Boundary; Finds Sheds, Couches

Hellertown Zoning Officer Joe Chernaskey recently told Borough Council that he has found sheds built on public property along the rail trail. Couches and chairs have also been dumped on public land along the trail, he said.

, some borough residents along the new path are already applying for permits to install privacy fencing to separate their yards from it, Hellertown Zoning and Codes Enforcement Officer Joe Chernaskey announced at Borough Council's April 18 meeting.

Chernaskey also told council that he's been busy helping residents who live along the trail find their property lines, which are marked by surveying "pins."

Doing so, he said, saves the residents the cost of having to hire professional surveyors to come out and locate their property lines.

"It costs about $800 to $1,000 to have a surveyor come out and do your property with four pins," he told council.

The boundary line between the rail trail and the private properties that border it is "pretty straight," he added. "I believe it's 15 feet off the railroad line."

In the process of locating the pins, Chernaskey said he has discovered that over a period of many years some residents have erected structures--such as sheds--that encroach on public property along the trail.

"Some of these structures are fairly large," he said, adding that their construction on public land is equivalent to "somebody putting a shed up over in ."

"These structures have to be on your property," he emphasized.

Along with the sheds, Chernaskey said he has also found couches, chairs and other refuse deposited on public property near the trail.

Council President Phil Weber suggested that Chernaskey send a letter to residents advising them of the fact that their outbuildings are located on public property.

"I agree with that," commented council member Gail Nolf. "If you built it on someone else's property, it's your fault."

Chernaskey said he planned to continue with his efforts to remove the sheds and other materials from the rail trail property.

Lee April 27, 2011 at 12:48 PM
Joe Chernaskey did you tell the people about the Pennsylvania Adverse Possession Laws, Code Section Tit. 42§5530 Time Period Required for Occupation 21 yrs. I bet NOT!!!
Lee April 27, 2011 at 02:32 PM
People that this affects also look into prescription, In property law, the effect of the lapse of time in creating and destroying rights. Acquisitive prescription allows an individual, after unequivocal possession for a specific period, to acquire an interest in real property, such as an easement, but not the property itself!!! Statutory remedy preferred over common law - 1 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1504 § 1504. Statutory remedy preferred over common law. In all cases where a remedy is provided or a duty is enjoined or anything is directed to be done by any statute, the directions of the statute shall be strictly pursued, and no penalty shall be inflicted, or anything done agreeably to the common law, in such cases, further than shall be necessary for carrying such statute into effect. The Gov't preferred over common law but your as a freeman can stand on your common law rights!!!
Jessica G. April 28, 2011 at 01:44 PM
Lee, adverse possession does not apply when the land is owned by the government.

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