WEATHERFORD — There has been no resolution for a landlocked resident who has been unable to access his property in about six years.
Parker County resident Jonathan Hobson filed an application to request a neighborhood road be reestablished to his property, which is located off North U.S. Highway 281 in Perrin, in December of 2020. His request was denied unanimously by the Parker County commissioners court
“This road that I am petitioning the county commissioners to reestablish has been there for 100 years and not only did it serve my home, it served another home that was on the road that has since been torn down,” Hobson said. “The road has been there a long time, it’s fenced on both sides and it dead-ends into my property. It serves no other purpose than as a road, that is the only use.”
In January, both Parker and Palo Pinto County commissioners approved title searches to clarify ownership of roads in the area. However, Hobson said the title search by Parker County never happened. Hobson added that Palo Pinto County did complete the title search, but he has not been able to obtain a copy of the results.
Parker County Attorney John Forrest said the title searches have not been performed yet due to a delay in the process, but that Palo Pinto County Attorney Maegan Kostiha has an individual set on conducting it.
“So I guess with the development, whoever she has doing it is backed up,” Forrest said. “Right now if you try to get anything done, they’re very backed up. We’re just waiting to see what the results come back on hers.”
Forrest added that he’s not sure the roadway was ever a county-owned road.
“It may have been a private easement so we’re waiting to see what comes back,” he said. “If that comes back and shows that it was not a county road ever, then at that point he petitions for that neighborhood road and we can run it through court.”
Hobson has not had access to his property since 2015 — the home that sits on the 40 acres has recently fallen victim to vandalism and theft. Two homes are on the property, one that is Hobson’s and the other that is the home he grew up in, which was built in the 1920s. His family has owned the property since the 1970s.
“My home is currently being robbed, I have pictures of intruders breaking into my home and coming out with possessions. I have pictures of my home where it’s been vandalized,” he said. “I have cattle that are grazing on my property as of [last] week and I have pictures of cattle that were grazing on my property in 2015.”
Forrest said the family had once used an easement they created themselves, but it failed to be recorded.
“The family created the situation when they didn’t record the easement as it was listed in a divorce decree, so we’re [trying to] fix something that they didn’t resolve themselves,” Forrest said. “The one that would make most logical sense if we had to go back in and create an easement for him would be the one that heads back into Palo Pinto because it doesn’t really interfere with anyone else’s land.”
Hobson has now filed an amended application for a neighborhood road to his property.
“At this time, we are waiting for the commissioners to schedule a hearing on Mr. Hobson’s amended application, which provides a very detailed summary of what has happened to date,” Hobson’s attorney Paul J. Vitanza said.
Vitanza has requested that a hearing be scheduled either for the June 14 or June 28 commissioners court meeting.
Hobson said now he’s just waiting for a response on his hearing.
“I’m paying all the same taxes that everybody else in the county pays, but I’m not being given all the same services that the rest of the residents of the county are being given,” he said. “My major frustration a the moment is just that the county does not really act like they want to even talk to me about this. They act like this is a no-go deal, they’re not going to do anything to help me and that makes absolutely no sense.”
But Forrest said without the title search results, there’s not much that can be done at this time.
“His attorney can force it and say ‘We filed a petition and you have to bring it before the court,’ but if it’s before that’s done I don’t think it will be very successful because the court is going to want to know if it was a county road ever,” he said.