Woman calls 12 after new fence blocks access to her home - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Woman calls 12 after new fence blocks access to her home

Source: NBC12 Source: NBC12

A Church Hill woman calls 12 On Your Side for help, saying a new fence blocks the back of her home.

The City of Richmond says the fence is legal, but thanks to the help of On Your Side Investigator Eric Philips, they may be able to give her another option.

"I have earned not only the voice, but the right to have access to where I live,” said Church Hill resident Mimi Getachew.

She is frustrated because she can't access the back of her property with a vehicle. That's been the case for the last several weeks, ever since fences went up on the properties adjacent to her home.

Those properties are owned by the church next door. Getachew used to go down the alley and drive across the church property to access her back yard with a vehicle. She admits there was no written easement there, but she says that's how the rear of her property was accessed for years, long before she purchased it.

"And that was kinda like the common knowledge,” Getachew said. “If that's what's something was always used for, you look at that and you go ‘that was that purpose.’  And when the pastor and I talked, he told me that I would always be able to drive back here, because there should be no reason why I can't.”

Getachew says two to three days later, the fences went up. Philips spoke to the pastor of the church, who said while it was not his direct decision to fence off the property, the church is fully within its rights to do so.

The city agrees, Getachew understands, but that does nothing for her problem.

There is another alley that Getachew could use to access her property, but it’s blocked by a tree, and she said the city was hesitant to commit to taking it down because it was still alive.

"I'm a good neighbor, I maintain the area, I beautify the community, I'm a good home owner by every intents and purposes, but I'm being punished and I have no idea why,” Getachew said.

Her frustration led her to call 12 On Your Side. NBC12’s Eric Philips looked into her case and knew there needed to be a solution. He contacted the city.

An official got back to him, saying there are plans to remove the tree that's blocking the alley closest to Getachew's home, which would give her vehicular access to the back of her property.

That official could not give a time frame, but we'll continue to follow it, as Getachew is anxious for change.

“It's like you can't have access to your living room no more,” Getachew said.

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