A couple in the rural municipality of East St. Paul is claiming their home is “landlocked” – after purchasing the property in August 2020.
The townhome is part of a cluster of four-plex complexes lining the street, advertised as “luxury townhomes at an affordable price.”
However, Kim and Kevin Hampton say they aren’t happy.
“It’s certainly not a luxury townhome in East St. Paul that we would have expected,” said homeowner Kevin Hampton.
Among those expectations was access to their own backyard.
“We’re carrying garbage cans through the house with grass clippings,” said homeowner Kim Hampton. “We’re carrying lumber, we’re carrying trees, shrubs.”
“Being boxed in, landlocked where we don’t have access to our backyard other than through a neighbour’s yard,” Kevin adds. “We already have one neighbor that doesn’t want us going across their property.”
The property of each of the units extends all the way to a steeply-sloped swale, with a tree line dividing the development from privately-owned land, and no path or public access to the middle unit yards.
Prior to purchasing the property, the couple said they were assured they’d have that access by both their realtor and the building company Irwin Homes.
“We were told they were working on it and that we would find out later what the plans would be,” Kim said.
In a statement to CTV News, Irwin Homes general manager Joel Neufeld disputed the couple’s claim their home is “landlocked,” saying the property “has conventional vehicular access off of the road, a private driveway and an attached garage, as well as a private front door entrance.”
He adds: “If it is important for a homeowner to have a side yard and larger back yard, they will choose one of the end units in a townhome complex.”
The Hamptons question how something like this could have been passed by the municipality in the planning process.
In a statement, the rural municipality of East St. Paul told CTV News: “While the RM approved the subdivision application, the building design process remains between the purchaser and the builder.”
“No one is taking ownership as to the oversight of what has happened here,” Kevin said.
The Hamptons say they have no plans to move out of their townhome anytime soon, but they worry about the value of their property if they decide to sell.
“We feel that our unit will not be as easy to sell because of this,” Kim said.
The couple hopes their story brings attention to the issue within the Gateway Point development and puts potential homebuyers on alert.
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