May 21, 2009

Municipal Headache

For the past year I've been very peeved at my city. I got a letter last summer stating that I had "tall weeds/grass" and that if I didn't mow all weeds/grass on my property I would be fined. What's the problem? My property was mowed. Come to find out the unkempt property was an empty field directly north of the property of my neighbors and my property. Last year it took care of itself with little more than headache from me as the proper owners took care of the property the same day I got the letter from the city. Convenient I say.

This year is a bit different. The owners of the property owns the house that is at the far west end of that entire field. They also are in the process of selling their house and, if I'm informed correctly, leaving the country [military]. No one has been taking care of the field, I got another letter from the city.

Here's what happens. The city 'code officers' drive around and find a lot that breaks the 'code'. They pull up their computer and go to the GIS map provided by the county. They use the nifty little tool to click a spot on the map that corresponds to the property in question and then generate a letter to the address signified according the mapping data.

Here is my property according to that county map:

See anything wrong there? Well according to the data that comes off the official legal document (the deed) This is the info about my property:

Of note you see "# of Bldgs: 1" and "Acres: .3100"

Now lets use the GIS tools to map out the plot in the pretty picture:

Interesting... 1.5 acres. Now I do NOT pay property taxes on 1.5 acres or 3 homes, as the GIS data shows. After talking with the County (Oklahoma County) authority, I was informed that the municipal authority could not use that GIS map as a legal means since the data was not correct and there was no guarantee behind it. However, the city 'code officer' tells me that according to state statutes they are supposed to use what the county provides, which to them means this GIS map.

What's the worst part? Here is the disclaimer you see (even the city sees this), when accessing the Oklahoma County GIS mapping tools (found here):

What? I asked the 'code officer' about that. He called the county, he tells me that the county told him that that site is publicly available and that the disclaimer is there for the public. That even though there is a disclaimer that says 'does not constitute a legal survey' the city is supposed to use this map.

I'm confused and on a mission. This is NOT acceptable.

Until next time

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