Brownsville Family Struggles to Sell Home Sitting on City Property

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BROWNSVILLE – A Brownsville couple told CHANNEL 5 NEWS a problem underneath their home is making it impossible for them to sell it.

The issue started when the home was built, according to Benjamin Alvarado. He said the plan was to pack-up and move to a new city.

Now, he said, his family is stuck between the city and three easements.

Alvarado is still trying to figure out why his home was allowed to be built on top of three utility easements.

"My big question is why they allowed the sale of this lot, especially this lot, because if you look at it here," Alvarado said. "There really is no space to build anything if you're not going to build on top of an easement."

Since this discovery, Alvarado said, he's learned the land underneath his home belongs to the city of Brownsville.

Alvarado said after several meetings with the city of Brownsville engineer, he was given an option.

"If they were in use that I had to purchase them, I had to purchase the easements,” he said.

That could cost upwards of $10,000, he added.

"It's not fair that I have to pay for these easements, it's just not fair. Based on this thing on the survey here, there was no place to build," said Alvarado.

City spokeswoman Roxanna Rosas said the city's engineering department is working with Alvarado on this issue.

Rosas said right now the city doesn't know if the utility easements are in use.

It will be up to Alvarado, she said, to pay for a survey to find out.

"If there aren't any utilities underground or overhead, then that places the city in a position to do what we call abandoning the easements," Rosas said.

If there aren't any utilities on the property, Rosas said, the city can sell that property to Alvarado. If they are being used, they will remain city property.

Rosas couldn't tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS why a home was allowed to be built on three easements.

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