Wayne McFarlane shows with a tape measure how far the
council believe all the properties behind him encroach onto
council land. Photo ODT files
Jeannie Coburn and her St Clair neighbours Sharon McKay
and Wayne McFarlane are steadfast in their fight against the
Dunedin City Council over historic boundary encroachment
Miss Coburn had until yesterday to respond to a letter from
the council, which told her she had the choice of buying 1.5m
of council road reserve land on which the fence and carport
of her Ings Ave property sit, applying for a licence to
occupy the land, or removing the fence and carport.
Ms McKay and Mr McFarlane had until last Thursday to respond
to their letter, which outlined the same options for their
Ings Ave property.
When contacted at the weekend, the neighbours, who have sold
their houses, said they had not responded to the council's
letter and had no intention of doing so.
''We are doing nothing about it,'' Ms McKay said.
''We are just going to wait. We aren't paying the DCC.''
While they were committed to not making decisions that would
affect the future occupiers of their houses, council
transportation policy engineer John Visser said the council
would not chase the present occupiers any further.
However, they would bear liability for any issue associated
with the boundary area which might arise in the future.
When asked if the council's policy was one of transferring
liability, Mr Visser replied: ''Absolutely''.
''It's a transfer of liability not for the benefit of the
council, but for the benefit of the current and future
He said making a decision would not cost the present
occupiers anything, although he did concede the cheapest
option - applying for a licence to occupy the road reserve -
would cost them $50.
The council had not initiated the enforcement of the
encroachment policy, he said.
When asked who had brought the Ings Ave issue to council
attention, he said: ''It's another party that triggers it,
wanting to know whether it [the land] is theirs or not''.
''It could be the owner, the buyer, a builder, a lawyer, a
real estate agent or a neighbour.
''The key in all of that is it's not the council raising
them. It's raised by another person and then we need to
A ''substantial report'' on historical boundary encroachment
issues would be tabled at the infrastructure services
committee meeting on April 1, he said.
University of Otago surveying senior lecturer Dr Mick Strack
said the property owners had another option available to them
- ''they could claim they didn't want that land''.
''They could tell council they weren't interested in
It was his view the present occupiers would not be liable for
the cost of removing fences or carports if they decided to no
longer occupy the land.