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Developer Walks Out On Rocklin Homeowners Embroiled In Boundary Dispute

ROCKLIN (CBS13) — It's a fight between a handful of neighbors and a developer who says they are encroaching on his land.

Some of those neighbors have been on that land for decades, and they refuse to pay the developer the money he is demanding.

CBS13 first brought you the battle last night, where neighbors say they wouldn't pay the thousands of dollars the developer is demanding.

Bob Pitt, 84, says he was shocked when he received a letter from a developer saying he was trespassing.

"This is the first time I've had anybody to say anything in 42 years," he said.

He and other seven other neighbors in the Rocklin neighborhood were told they could pay to settle the issue.

"They want me to pay them $28,000, $29,000," he said. "That's more than I paid for when I bought it."

Pitt agreed to meet with the developer. His neighbors wanted to come, too, but the developer, Jon Tattersall, was not happy to see them, or us.

"I can appreciate that you want to have this in a public forum but we view this as a private matter," he said.

The neighbors told him and us they were just looking for answers.

Tattersall: "This isn't something that's arbitrary and capricious that we just made up…"
Neighbor: "But the letter you sent us says the property line goes right through our houses, of course its encroaching its clearly wrong."
Tattersall: "I appreciate it all thank you very much." (Leaves home)

We spoke with real estate attorney Michael Thomas.

"This sounds like a typical boundary dispute, the owners may have a claim for adverse possession to the extent that they've been occupying land for more than five years," he said.

Thomas says besides living in a home for five years, adverse possession also requires homeowners to have paid their taxes. If that's the case, he says these homeowners may have a case.

"It doesn't sound to me like the developers case is open-and-shut case," he said.

After the developer walked out on the residents, he released a statement to CBS13:

"We were looking forward to a constructive, but others apparently had a different plan and decided to turn a private meeting into a media show. We remain committed to working with the neighbors to address the property boundary problem. We have no intention of creating an undue financial hardship for any of the property owners."

In the meantime, residents along Aguillar Road are vowing to stick together.

Thomas says the property owners in cases like this should pull subdivision maps to check on boundaries. But even if those boundaries were originally drawn incorrectly, they still have options to keep the land they paid for when they bought their homes.

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