Private property (mine and neighbors)

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Venus Pax
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Private property (mine and neighbors)

#1

Post by Venus Pax » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:36 pm

My 12 neighbors and I share a 30 acre private lake. We are all considered joint owners of the lake.
Per our restrictions, we may have guests, but they must use the host family's own watercraft (no gas motors) which has to be marked with the family's house number. Guests must enter the lake through the hosting family's back yard, and the host(s) must be home.

We are having lots of people accessing the lake through the empty lots. We occasionally have them launch their boats, but most will fish or swim from shoreline. A group of kids even swam to our pier and started jumping from our pier into the lake. (Pier is part of my backyard.) The developer has put no trespassing signs.

Moreover, people learn the names of the families living on the lake, and they will drop our names when confronted by other homeowners or police.

Today, a young couple parked in my neighbor's driveway, then walked around the other side of her house and started fishing in the lake. I contacted the homeowner when we saw the car in the driveway (house is for sale by owner) and asked if they were showing the house today. They weren't, and they told me that no one had permission to be there. They were in a neighboring town and headed home immediately.
My husband and other neighbor walked over and informed them that it was private property. They said they had permission from the homeowners. Husband and neighbor told them that we had contacted them, and no consent was given. They were incredibly belligerent. They told us the land and lake weren't ours; we informed them that it was, and that it was private property. Their attention was directed to the No Trespassing signs, which they said they didn't see. They finally left after cussing my husband and neighbor.
The other neighbors (whose driveway was used), arrived shortly thereafter. They were upset at someone using their driveway.
The three households discussed it, and we decided to simply get a license plate and/or picture if we can safely do so and simply call the police in the future.

Neighbors have called the police in the past, but are told something different based on who responds or calls back. One officer removed a man from the vacant lot (that guy was belligerent with the officer), and told my neighbor to call anytime. The officer I spoke to today said that he can't remove someone without the individual lot/land owner's consent. That's frustrating, because the homeowners stock the fish, and we've also had to spend hundreds to deal with invasive plant species. We do not get state funding for this. (There are public boat launches and fishing areas in our town for anyone's use, and the upkeep is paid with tax dollars.)

What more can we do? We already have private property signs on our piers behind our houses. The developer has posted No trespassing signs on the vacant lots. One sign is large and says "Private Property: No Hunting, No Fishing."
My husband is going to purchase another sign tomorrow to put on the other neighbors side yard.

I've started a Facebook neighborhood group for neighbors to better communicate. Many are in the age 70+ category (some are in the 80s and 90s), and not all of them are comfortable with technology. I'm concerned about personal and property security due to all the unknown people making their way out here for recreation.
We are also concerned with security if people can so easily access the lake.
"If a man breaks in your house, he ain't there for iced tea." Mom & Dad.

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03Lightningrocks
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#2

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:15 pm

If the area is accessed by one main road, everyone could pitch in and buy a gate with a lock to block the entrance. Make it a coded lock and give each property owner a different code to use. With a little extra cost you could even get an electric gate that opens with a sensor each property owner could put in their vehicle.

Just some thoughts. It might be cheaper than paying for the damage created by the interlopers.


TreyHouston
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#3

Post by TreyHouston » Fri May 01, 2020 8:16 am

If you make it a gated community, the roads, street lights and sewer system now has to be maintained by the community. No more county funds for maintenance.
"Jump in there sport, get it done and we'll all sing your praises." -Chas

How many times a day could you say this? :cheers2:


flechero
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#4

Post by flechero » Fri May 01, 2020 8:30 am

I grew up on a small lake and encountered similar issues... when the local PD decided they didn't want to fool with it anymore, I decided to call the game warden. No more problems. ;-)

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WildBill
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#5

Post by WildBill » Fri May 01, 2020 9:07 am

flechero wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 8:30 am
I grew up on a small lake and encountered similar issues... when the local PD decided they didn't want to fool with it anymore, I decided to call the game warden. No more problems. ;-)
:thumbs2:
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Archery1
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#6

Post by Archery1 » Fri May 01, 2020 9:10 am

I live in basically the same situation. We spend a ton on fishery management, and yes, boats are to have insurance on file with HOA and an HOA tag on boat and trailer. We don't allow "permission" based fishing. The homeowner must accompany any fishing guests. The issue of interlopers has raised it's head more during this Covid lockdown and like you, the solution is getting talked a lot about. It just simply amazes me at the seemingly good folks that will take their family out for a day of fishing, park in front of house or vacant acre, walk past "no trespassing" signs at common areas and docks, and set up for day of fishing on a stocked private lake. Then, look at you as the party pooper when you tell them they are trespassing and poaching.

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TxRVer
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#7

Post by TxRVer » Fri May 01, 2020 9:14 am

flechero wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 8:30 am
I grew up on a small lake and encountered similar issues... when the local PD decided they didn't want to fool with it anymore, I decided to call the game warden. No more problems. ;-)
That's was going to be my recommendation. :tiphat:
Charlie


texas yankee
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#8

Post by texas yankee » Fri May 01, 2020 9:18 am

"when the local PD decided they didn't want to fool with it anymore" - if the PD isn't enforcing the law, or enforcing it selectively, talk with the Chief and give him an opportunity to correct the situation, and if he's unwilling to fix it, go to the Mayor or City Manager, and the local newspaper. Sometimes ya gotta shine some light on a problem so that people realize how important it is.
What's in it for me ? :patriot:


flechero
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#9

Post by flechero » Fri May 01, 2020 9:48 am

texas yankee wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 9:18 am
"when the local PD decided they didn't want to fool with it anymore" - if the PD isn't enforcing the law, or enforcing it selectively, talk with the Chief and give him an opportunity to correct the situation, and if he's unwilling to fix it, go to the Mayor or City Manager, and the local newspaper. Sometimes ya gotta shine some light on a problem so that people realize how important it is.
That may have worked, but the Game Warden was more than happy to take it over and he's a better man for that job. Plus, I wasn't wanting to invest a ton of time into working the governmental chain of command. I can't imagine being breezed right in to meet with the police chief over a guy fishing in my yard, while Garland was riddled with gangs and drugs back then. :lol:

Not much media drama in a fishing trespasser...

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Jusme
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#10

Post by Jusme » Fri May 01, 2020 9:56 am

TxRVer wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 9:14 am
flechero wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 8:30 am
I grew up on a small lake and encountered similar issues... when the local PD decided they didn't want to fool with it anymore, I decided to call the game warden. No more problems. ;-)
That's was going to be my recommendation. :tiphat:
:iagree:

Game Wardens will have no issues removing/arresting trespassers from private property.
Also as a group, you can require any visitors to have written permission, from the owners. This can be a small pre-printed form with the time and date permission is given. Those who do not possess said form, would be considered trespassers. JMHO
Take away the Second first, and the First is gone in a second :rules: :patriot:


srothstein
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#11

Post by srothstein » Fri May 01, 2020 10:38 am

If you want to have fun with the police, remember that the fish are privately owned. Taking them without permission is theft. You have to put a value on each fish, base on the costs of buying and raising them. The local police should be more interested when you tell them you want to charge them with theft. A lot of cops think (incorrectly IMO) that criminal trespass is a "victimless" crime or civil matter (basically they left when I told them too so they are not real criminals). But when you point out that they are stealing the fish, the cops can write citations if it is under $50 or book for over that. And three convictions for theft makes it a felony.
Steve Rothstein

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ELB
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#12

Post by ELB » Fri May 01, 2020 10:44 am

How do you call a Game Warden, especially if you want him right now? Call 911 and ask for one? I've never had the situation where I thought I needed one, so never thought about it until now.
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philip964
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#13

Post by philip964 » Fri May 01, 2020 10:56 am

Policing a lake by individual homeowners is problematic.

Best hire professionals.

I’d get rid of the unaccompanied guest rule.

Guests have to be with a homeowner at all times.

The problem will only get worse.

My son still is unhappy about a situation when he was a teenager with his friends and a neighbor he didn’t know threatened him and called him a lier, when he was confronted at a community lake he had every right to be at.


flechero
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#14

Post by flechero » Fri May 01, 2020 11:16 am

ELB wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 10:44 am
How do you call a Game Warden, especially if you want him right now? Call 911 and ask for one? I've never had the situation where I thought I needed one, so never thought about it until now.
Start here, the link to the main TPWD Law Enforcement offices...
https://tpwd.texas.gov/warden/connect/offices

You can call the closest LE office and ask which Warden(s) are in your area/county and ask one to come out and discuss problems you've been having. Every Warden i have talked to in person has given me a card and asked me to call their cell directly, anytime we "need them." Most Wardens want to know the landowners in their area and help out in any way they can.

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ELB
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Re: Private property (mine and neighbors)

#15

Post by ELB » Fri May 01, 2020 12:22 pm

flechero wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:16 am
...
Start here, the link to the main TPWD Law Enforcement offices...
...
Thanks!
USAF 1982-2005
____________
“The only thing more enjoyable than seeing your opponent lose an election they rigged is seeing them lose an investigation they rigged.” Author unknown but dead on the mark.

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