Concrete barriers causing headaches for homeowners in Elko New Market neighborhood

The barriers put up in the roadway are creating problems for people in an Elko New Market, Minnesota neighborhood.

Over the last two weeks, trips to and from home have gotten a little longer for Pat and pretty much everybody else in a specific Elko New Market neighborhood.

A handful of concrete barriers have been up across sections of two private streets near Boulder Pointe Golf Club since mid-April.

The headache for homeowners can be blamed on an ongoing dispute between a homeowners association and a property owner.

"It’s been incredible. This guy’s got some sort of private feud and everybody’s paying for it… school buses can’t go by, the FedEx trucks can’t go by," Pat said.

In an email provided to FOX 9 that was sent to residents, the homeowners association outlines their side of the conflict. They claim the owner of multiple lots and a portion of private road within the neighborhood put up the concrete barriers on his property after a deal with the association on the sale of some surrounding land went sour.

The Elko New Market Police Department tells FOX 9 the concrete barriers don’t pose a public safety risk because emergency vehicles and fire trucks are still able to access every home in the community. Since the dispute is a civil matter happening on private property, authorities say they won’t intervene.

Regardless, the barriers aren’t just causing problems for homeowners, but for real estate agents, too.

"It’s just been very challenging and it shouldn’t be," broker associate John Wichmann said.

"It sheds negative light on a wonderful community. Elko New Market is growing, it is robust, the city planners are fantastic, the city crews are fantastic and now, we have this dispute," Wichmann said.

Wichmann says he recently sold a townhome in the community and the process was complicated by the conflict and the unwanted additions to the street.

"Fortunately, we got it sold (right away) because the market is still really, really good, but now we got to get title insurance. We have to get a mortgage for the property. The lender does not want to lend on something that could potentially cause problems or liens against the property. The title company doesn’t want to insure over potential liens against the property," Wichmann said.

FOX 9 has reached out to both the homeowners association and the property owner for comment, but have not heard back from either party as of Thursday night.