by: Paige Hansen Updated:
MOORESVILLE - Homeowners in one Mooresville neighborhood are upset part of their subdivision will have to be torn down years after it was built. Piedmont Natural Gas says structures are built on top of its pipeline.
The gas company deals with this often and even with inspections, structures are built where they shouldn't be, leaving Home Owners Associations with few options.
Clare Pieratt and others who live at the Estate of Lake Davidson in Mooresville say they do not want to see the entryway to their community destroyed.
"You assume that everything is on the up and up and what's there has been properly placed there," Pieratt said. She says the decorative stone structure and fence outside her neighborhood were both there before the nearly two dozen homes were built a decade ago.
These yellow posts that say "natural gas pipeline" have been there as long as she can remember.
"I would find it hard to believe they would construct something without anyone's knowledge," Pieratt said.
But a few months ago, Piedmont told homeowners, part of the entryway, a berm and a well need to go.
Piedmont says it has 25,000 miles of pipeline, and often things are built on easements without their knowledge.
"While it's not something we experience every single day or every week it does happen," David Trusty a spokesman for Piedmont Natural Gas, said.
When it’s discovered, the company works with homeowners, often paying for structures to be relocated.
"It's discouraging. You would hope there are checks and balances within the county and the gas company and the developer," Pieratt said.
Piedmont says it's up to homeowners to know where a utility has an easement.
But these homeowners are fighting back, asking for a survey before their entryway is destroyed.
"In case of an emergency, they said it would be difficult to get in and remove these. But it would also be difficult in my opinion to get in and remove the road," Pieratt said.
Channel 9 checked with Iredell County’s planning department which said a permit is required for a permanent structure, even an entryway sign. But permits are not required for fences and the decision to build that is up to the property's developer. Channel 9 contacted but never heard back from the person who developed the estate of Lake Davidson.