My question involves an easement in the state of: Ohio
My house was built in 1950. Beside my house is a dead end street that was never put through to the street behind me. The owner that used to live behind me bought their part of the street, because he never wanted the street to go through. We have lived here for 25 years and have taken care of the street. Repaired it when needed and sealed it every other year. We use the street as our drive way. It has never been an issue until our new neighbor moved in.
This neighbor thinks he should be allowed to drive his car through the grass at the end of the dead end street into his back yard. I've asked him several times not to drive through the grass area. My husband and I have taken care of the grass area for the entire time that we have lived here. Mowing it and keeping it nicely landscaped. The grass area at the end of the dead end street that the neighbor is driving in, is a utility easement/alley across our back yards.
Out of spite for my family, this neighbor has decided to build a garage facing our dead end street. The Village has granted him a permit to build this garage with the door facing our property. The neighbor has a huge lot with plenty of room to access his garage from the front part of his house. He told the council that he is only building the garage to face our property out of spite for us, because he does not like being told what he can and cannot do.
We attended a village council meeting where we petitioned for the dead end street that runs along our property to be vacationed to us and the neighbor to our side that abuts up to the street. I was told by the recorders office that the neighbor behind me (the one giving us grief) is not included in the petition because his property does no directly abut against the street in question. It is separated by the utility easement/alley behind us.
My question is, can I claim the utility easement/alley as adverse possession since we have taken care of it for 25 years? Also if the village decides not to sign over the street to us, can we go to court to get it or is their decision final?
If they allow the neighbor behind me to use the dead end street as a driveway, can I argue that it will diminish our property value? They will be taking away several areas that we use for parking.
The neighbor has already told me that he has "disposable income" and if court is where I want to go with it, then he will. At the time his garage has not been started. The village did grant him a permit, but the weather has been terrible in our area. Lucky for me!! Once the garage is started and if the village decides to vacation the street to me, can the neighbor sue me for an easement into his property? Even though he was told there is a chance they may decide in our favor and he may not be able to access his garage from our street?
Also we had a lilac bush that we planted 23 years ago. It was planted partially on our property and partially on the utility easement/alley. This neighbor tore it out. The Village said that I should not have planted it in the alley. There are several of my neighbors that have gardens in the alley and nothing has been done to them. This neighbor is a bully and has victimized several people in our small village. For some reason he has made my husband and I his current target for his anger. I was just curious to hear any suggestions any of you may have for our situation.
Unfortunately, my husband and I do not have "disposable income" and have already considered we may end up having to move.
Thanks for your help. We will be attending a second village council meeting next Monday.