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Royal Palm Beach neighbors frustrated over construction work

Construction work in the La Mancha neighborhood of Royal Palm Beach on Sept. 9, 2022.jpg
Posted at 3:45 PM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 18:20:55-04

ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. — Residents in a Royal Palm Beach neighborhood said they've suddenly found themselves among a construction site, and they want to know how it has happened.

The La Mancha neighborhood is located north of Okeechobee Boulevard.

Residents tell WPTV it all started a few weeks ago when AT&T started installing fiber optic cables.

Spray paint, marking flags, tubing, and machinery were suddenly around every corner, some of which neighbors said.was actually blocking their driveways.

Neighbors said what's upsetting them the most is that none of them were ever notified about the project ahead of time, and once the crews finish working for the day, the homeowners are left cleaning up the mess.

"There were neighbor's mailboxes that were damaged. There were holes left. Sidewalks were actually damaged. Just all sorts of mess," said neighbor Carlos Bermudez.

A spokesperson for the village of Royal Palm Beach said they've noted a couple of complaints related to this project, and they've had some issues, but now have code enforcement and inspectors at the scene keeping an eye on things.

An AT&T spokesperson said they placed door hangers last month to notify residents before their contractors began work in the area. They said their contractors are instructed to obtain proper permitting and closely follow local construction codes.

Here's what you need to know if something similar occurs in your neighborhood.

Contact 5 spoke Friday with Chris Marsh, the village engineer for Royal Palm Beach, about the situation.

Marsh said the permitted work is being done within easements and rights of ways in that neighborhood.

He said the workers are not allowed to prevent property owners' ingress or egress from their homes and can't block people's access overnight.

For context, WPTV also spoke with real estate attorney Adam Seligman, who said if there is a utility easement on your property, then the company can legally enter with or without your permission.

However, if there is no utility easement on your property, he said the company cannot enter your property without permission.

Seligman also pointed out that under the law utility companies are responsible for any damages caused to your property while digging in your yard.

Marsh also said the state doesn't allow the village to mandate that companies notify homeowners about the work. However, a spokesperson for AT&T said they placed door hangers last month to notify residents before contractors began work in the area.