Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Stop encroaching on public spaces!

Published:Sunday | August 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Good day, readers. This week, I want to look at some common practices that are wrong but are perpetuated and practised in many communities and islandwide.

There is a practice of building planters on sidewalks; this is done as a means of beautifying the front of the property and the community on a whole but it is encroachment in the road reservation.

This practice impedes/ restricts the use of the sidewalk by pedestrians and members of the public. This forces persons to walk in the carriage-way of the road reservation, which can be dangerous.

There is also a practice that many persons employ, that of putting stones or barriers to prevent vehicles from turning in the front of their driveway. This is not just annoying to motorists and pedestrians but it is also very wrong. The reserved road (which is not owned by any one person) spans your boundary fence to the other boundary fence on the other side of the road. So to put anything in that space is to encroach on the public space, i.e. the road reservation which is for the use of all.

Another common practice is where there are walkways (especially) in Portmore, where persons drive their cars on the walkways and pathways. This is prohibited in most of the restrictive covenants but persons ignore it and drive and park in the walkways and impede the movement of pedestrian traffic, the purpose for which the walkways are intended. Some go as far as to build driveways and walls over the gullies to facilitate them driving a vehicle on to their property and for parking. This is encroachment in the drainage/gully reservation. So if you require a surveyor's report, the land surveyor would note that you have encroached on the Government's property.

rule of thumb

Please use this as a rule of thumb: anything that you construct on the outside of your boundary fence constitutes an encroachment. So please at all times try to stay within your boundaries. This will allow you at any time to have a surveyor's report done and you won't have to be faced with the prospect of an encroachment in this regard. If you are uncertain about where your boundary limits are, contact your land surveyor, who will be glad to assist you.

Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter Land. Until next time, traverse well.

Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at craig_r_francis@yahoo.com or his Facebook page Precision Surveying Services