Homeowners Ordered To Move Fence

An expensive shock for Bellevue couple. They discover after moving into a new home that they don't have control over most of their own backyard.

Northern Natural Gas has an easement on two sides. Homeowner Jennifer Weber says, " We knew that gas line was there it’s marked but we were not aware of."

The homeowners are aware now after Northern ordered them to move the fence in by 47 feet. Northern Natural purchased the easement years ago for safety and access. Fences over it are not allowed even though the Webers offered to install sliding gates. That's a solution homeowners elsewhere were denied two years ago.

Mike Loeffler of Northern Natural told Fact Finders then, "We don't allow gates for a simple reason. Number one we need a line of sight in order to see our pipeline. Second we need access to our pipeline."

The Webers must pay two thousand more dollars to move the new fence. But they see existing fences and also the city of Bellevue granted a permit to install the fence.

Jennifer Weber says, "I feel like somewhere along the line before we purchased the house we should have been informed of this and I’m not sure where it went wrong, but somebody dropped it somewhere."

Jennifer says the realtor and title search indicated a gas line near their newly purchased home, but she claims nobody raised red flags about installing a fence inside an 80 foot wide easement that dominates most of their backyard.

Bellevue’s planning department tells Fact Finders the city doesn't look for easements when issuing permits. It’s up to homeowners to check with the county register of deeds. However, because of our story, the city may warn anyone applying for a permit to ask about easements before installing fences.

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