Published: Nov 13, 2012 7:04 PM EST
Updated: Nov 13, 2012 7:05 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Imagine coming home to find out your landscaping and fence are all gone. Ripped out: by the city of Cape Coral. That's what one homeowner told us happened to him.

Ed Schneider says he was horrified to find a row of trees and plants had just vanished. He at first thought it was a crime. "Somebody had actually come onto our property and stole all of our vegetation and our fence, and I saw the fence sitting off to the side in a crumpled mess," he said.

He talked to the neighbor and realized it was the city that had to replace an underground pipe. There is an easement on that section of the property that he shares with the city.

Schneider says no one told him it was going to happen. And now wants the city to replace what he lost.

"I was horrified, I was not processing what happened," he explained.

We were told the city is reviewing what happened here and would not comment on the matter.

So we asked attorney Kevin Jursinski, who specializes in real estate cases. He says legally, the city didn't do anything wrong.

"If he has expensive shrubs, expensive trees, where he puts onto the utilities easement, he does it at his own peril," said Jursinski. "The easement itself indicates they have the unrestricted right to go onto his property. It doesn't say you have to call him first."

Jursinski says homeowners need to be careful of what they place on an easement.

Now, Schneider is renting out the property.


He says he looks forward to what the city has to say about what happened here. Trust WINK News to follow up with this story as it progresses.