Fred Van Antwerp wants to walk his neighborhood in peace and out of the way of traffic.
In the Broadmoor area of Colorado Springs where he lives, that’s a trick because there are no sidewalks and few curbs and gutters.
So Fred walks on the grass along the streets. Lots of people in his neighborhood do the same thing.
In many places, as on Oak Avenue in the photo above, folks respect the public 9-foot right-of-way that runs along every street in Colorado Springs. Their landscaping and fences set back from the road.
But more and more homeowners are laying claim to the right-of-way, Fred says.
It’s getting hard to stay out of the street because he encounters so many fences, or large boulders or hysterical homeowners all intent on shooing him off “their” property.
Some even erect walls and thick shrubs to keep people off the right-of-way.
Often, the landscaping looks very nice. But is it legal for homeowners to take control of the right-of-way?
No, says Ken Lewis, city code enforcement administrator.
He said the adjacent property owners are responsible for maintaining the adjacent right-of-way in what the city code calls an “aesthetically pleasing” manner. But they don’t own it and can’t keep people off it.
Some even try to control the street in front of their homes. They put up fences to discourage walkers from straying on the grass and motorists from parking on the streets.
Nice try. But definitely not legal.