DJ 33 1/3

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Judge Ruling On What Part Of Beachfront Property Belongs To Owners

A judge has ruled homeowners will have a say in property after an investment company claimed to own parts of the Hillsboro Inlet and the backs of waterfront homes.

The questions comes down to who owns the land above and below water? The residents along Bay Drive found that their oceanfront property are in jeopardy. Someone else is claiming rights to parts of their land and surrounding property. Attorneys for the owners are in court, demanding that they have a say.

A judge ruled homeowners will have a say after the investment company claimed to own parts of the Hillsboro Inlet which includes the backs of the waterfront homes.

“They have the right to be heard so their property is not taken without due process,” said George Lemieux, an attorney for the homeowners.

The homeowners are now demanding a trial, but much of the property in question is underwater which is submerged land.

“That is the land we are effectively talking about,” said Andrew Blasi, an attorney representing Hillsboro Inlet Investments. “It eroded away over time. But it doesn’t mean it is not privately owned land.”

The investment company is demanding the property appraiser change official records to reflect their ownership, stating submerged navigable lands are considered to be owned by the state.

Judge Michele Towbin Singer said the property appraiser was told not to change any records for now.

Photos by Getty Images

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