BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 11, 2016–Elton Audinette, 40, a resident of ML Street in the Mahogany Street Extension area of Lake Independence, and one of his neighbours, his very own sister, are currently at odds because, he says, she is laying claim to a portion of the street and is blocking access to his house from under her elevated one-flat house, and is demanding that he go around the yard to go to his home.
Audinette is refusing to do that, and is demanding that she dismantle her house, which he says is located on the road, so that he can have easy access to his home.
On Wednesday, Audinette visited Amandala and outlined the challenge he is facing. He said that when his mother died in 2008, she left her property, on which two houses were located, and she had given him power of attorney prior to her death. Despite the fact that he has documents for the property, his sister wants to force him off the property, and is making life very inconvenient and uncomfortable for him, he says.
Audinette said that she is claiming the road as part of her yard, and is stopping him from walking through her yard and under his mom’s house, to get to his house, which is a route he has been using for years.
Also, he says, his house is without water because she is not allowing the water pipe through her yard. As a result of the inconvenience, Audinette says, his common-law wife left their house.
The irate brother, who says that he had bought his land, told us that his sister transferred their power meter into her name, after which she got BEL to cut the power to his house, leaving the wires on the ground.
Audinette showed us a map that showed the road in front of the house shaded in as a part of his sister’s yard.
Amandala pointed out the situation to Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, and asked him about the legality of what is happening on ML Street.
Mayor Bradley told us that it is illegal to claim a piece of a public road. The mayor promised that he would bring the situation to the attention of the City Administrator with a view to solving the boundary dispute between the two siblings
When Amandala interviewed Elton Audinette’s sister, Sylvia Audinette, who lives in the front house in the yard, she said that she has been living in the house for 20 years, 7 of them with her husband and children, and she will not dismantle her house.
She admitted that she is denying her brother access to the route he formerly used to get to his house, because she claims that he has a habit of sitting under the house and listening to conversations taking place inside. Instead, she said, she gave him access to the path between her yard and the neighbour’s yard. There is an area of about 10 feet to be filled up and it provides unimpeded access to his house, she told us.
Sylvia told Amandala that at the time when the house was built, there was no plan for the area, and other people just went into the territory and built their houses. After the area was mapped out by the Survey Department, her house ended up in the middle of the road. She said that she is now under consideration as a potential recipient for the title of the lot, since she has been living there for years. She said that she paid for the house and that the house is hers.
She told us that the City Administrator, the Town Planner and City Hall are all aware of the situation.
Sylvia said that the problem began when her brother, Elton Audinette, began using her yard as a dumping ground for his old iron items and rubbish, but because she began to stand firm and refuse to have him store his rubbish in her yard, they had a disagreement, and he is now harbouring a grudge against her.
Sylvia contends that when she went to live in the area, there was no road, and she began to buy “fill and dump” for her house, and along with some boys, filled the road.
Her brother presently has two dilapidated vans in front of her house in the area she had filled, and she had asked him to move the vans, and asked him to buy his own filling to put in the area where he should take the vans, because she will not allow the vans to stay in the area she had filled.
This, again, created conflict between them, she said.
Sylvia said that she is demanding that a fence be built between their yards, so that they do not have to interact with each other.
She also said that the reason her brother’s common-law wife moved away was that he was being abusive to her.
The City Administrator had offered to build the road from Police Street, which would pass by Elton’s house, but he had disagreed, saying the yard was for him, and he should have access through the yard.
Sylvia, for her part, says that it is her yard, and she is awaiting her documents for it.