My question involves a public road/right of way in the state of:Washington
A 60’ wide ROW owned by the city (not deeded) runs between my neighbor’s property and ours. It serves as access to our house and the house to our north. The neighbor across the ROW from us put a rockery down the middle of the ROW, backfilled behind it and planted a hedge. They also installed a rockery blocking a portion of our fire turn around that we were required to install when we built our home. Our neighbor to the north and I have access to our homes via the remaining 30ft of ROW which they have not blocked. There are some reasons why we would like to widen our driveway into “their half” of the ROW but the access we do have is generally adequate.
This is a very abbreviated story. There have been many confrontations over the years which have typically ended with us conceding to demands of our neighbors. Our driveway used to run down the middle of the ROW. We moved it to “our half” to keep the peace but have decided that it is not a good idea to allow our neighbors to block half of the legal access to our home.
The city won’t get involved. Although they own the road it is privately maintained and they see it only as a dispute between neighbors. The Fire Marshal says he has enough room to maneuver in an emergency.
In the future we would like to subdivide our property at which time a road would need to be built to City standards in the middle of the ROW where it belongs. We will face a HUGE battle with these neighbors at that time. Should we suck it up, leave things as they are and let them continue to believe they have a right to the exclusive use of this public property or should we fight for the rights we believe we have to our only legal access and our fire safety turn around.