WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - A Waveland beach front homeowner is battling the county over the ownership and use of property in front of his house. He says his property deed shows he owns the land, but the county contends it's part of the public right of way.
The issue reached a boiling point after the homeowner placed signs on the land asking beach goers not to park on the property.
Robert Royals spent Tuesday morning at the Hancock County Historical Society gathering information from a map of Beach Boulevard from 1930.
"I'm just trying to find out how much of that right of way that they are claiming actually belongs to me," said Royals.
The right of way in question is located between where his front yard and the roadway Beach Boulevard. Royals put signs out on the property to prevent what he says has become a big problem.
"Beach goers parking in front of my house. It's especially bad on the weekends. They tear up the grass that they're parked on. And besides that, when they get ready to leave, they dump all of their trash and leave it all there, too," explained Royals.
Royals said the signs were doing the job until county work crews knocked on his door a week ago.
"Some county employees came by and asked me to move my 'Do not park on the grass' signs, and I told them, No, I wouldn't do it. They left and about an hour and a half later they come back with three Waveland Police officers and two county vehicles," said Royals.
He said after an hour and a half conversation, he reluctantly allowed the county to pull up the signs.
"They took them up and laid them on the wall and everybody left, and I put the signs back up as soon as they left."
The county attorney said the signs violate county laws.
"Clearly, there has been a beach road there for years and years and years. There are minutes from board meetings in 1927 that clearly establishes a 60 foot right of way," explained County Attorney Ronnie Artigues. "If there are obstacles blocking the publics access, if there are obstacles blocking mowers or county vehicles, it posses a problem."
Royals responded, saying, "There is designated parking spots along this beach and none of them happen to be in somebody's front yard."
Royals said he has an attorney and an engineering firm researching the issue for him, and he's prepared to take the matter to court, if he has to.