Couple Battles City of McAllen over Property Line
MCALLEN – A couple living in McAllen are crying out for help after they say their barrier for privacy and safety was ripped away by the city.
Rogelio and Linda Salazar, who own a green apartment complex on 29th Street, say an ongoing city project included tearing down their $12,000 fences.
They claim the fence was destroyed because of a street-widening project, the expansion of 29th Street from State Highway 107 and Oxford Avenue.
“The widening of this roadway is going to be a great improvement for our city and for our arterial, and including the people that traverse through there and live there,” says McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez.
The 1.5-mile stretch he talks about is lined with homes and destroyed fences.
“More than anything, it's a heartache. It just looks bad. We are very unhappy,” says Linda. “We would like for the city to either compensate us or come and put up the fence.”
Crews are working to expand the street and make way for new pavement, but fences that stand in their way are being demolished.
The Salazar’s say the fence pieces now lay flattened and scattered in their property’s front yard.
When asked about the damage, Salazar says they were told there’s nothing they could do about it.
“That it was their property and they could do whatever they wanted to do,” she tells us.
Rodriguez told us the couple was notified.
“We're in the right of way, which is the city right of way. We gave them notice the week before, that it was a problem,” he says.
But Linda Salazar says they were not ever given notice.
Rodriguez could not provide a copy of the notice to CHANNEL 5 NEW. He says it was "probably a verbal notice by the contractor."
He adds the city not only owns the land the fence stood on, but they also own part of the land the Salazar's complex sits on.
A two-inch marker on the left side of the property separates Salazar’s property from the city’s.
A report explains the right of way line grants people permission to travel through a piece of land that may be considered public.
Rodriguez says in this case, the right of way line falls behind where residents have set fences on 29th street.
“Really, what happened here is the property owner didn't give notice to the city or county that he was building the apartment or the wall,” he explains.
The Salazar’s are also out $1,100 a month in income. They say two of their tenants left because of the destroyed fencing.
The couple says they’ve hired an attorney.
Count on us to keep you updated on this story.