Homeowners, City Settle Turf War

It was a true turf war. And it eventually took cash to settle the boundary disputes.

The fight started a few years ago, when the city's park district surveyed property lines along the west side of Simi Hills Golf Course, which runs along the backyards of homes on Texas Avenue.

The survey showed that dozens of homeowners had built fences, or even portions of pools on the golf course property owned by the park district.

At the park district's March 23 board meeting, board members approved the final agreement to resolve the issue.

The district gave homeowners two choices: "We offered them the opportunity to move their fence or buy some of the area," said Al Church, the park district's general manager.

Homeowner Doug Green didn't want to move his fence. Instead, he came up with about $870 to keep the fence where it is. Other neighbors also made financial deals.

Even though Green took the park district up on its offer, he wasn't happy about having to fork out the cash for what he believed was land the golf course couldn't use.

Green said the park district originally wanted close to $1,600. But because the portion of the land Green now owns is sloped, it didn't have that much value and the park district agreed to reduce the amount.

"I wish they had been a little more generous," he said. "But I understand their point of view that if they give the land to some people they have to do it for everyone."

Church said that some homeowners paid several thousand dollars to keep property.

The homes along Texas Avenue were built long before the golf course. Many didn't have fences until the owners built them.

"It affected almost every house," Church said. "But most of them just went ahead and moved their fences."

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