Snohomish woman says Seattle City Light is reclaiming huge portion of her backyard

After nearly 30 years a Snohomish woman says Seattle City Light is reclaiming part of her backyard.

The utility owns the land and is slowly contacting 300 homeowners with fences or structures in their right of way.

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Sunny Williams was flabbergasted to learn City Light was going to tear down her fence. Bonneville uses the power lines behind her Seattle Hill house and leases the land those lines are on from City Light.

In 1987 the previous owners of Williams’ home got approval from Bonneville to build a fence on part of that property but they never sought permission from City Light. The 1987 agreement was also deemed nontransferable to any future owners of the house.

For the last 27 years Williams has kept up the yard and trimmed back the blackberry bushes,which grew so thickly that neither utility company could access the lines if they had tried although Williams says no one has ever responded to the area for maintenance or repairs.

City Light’s spokesperson says the utility was not as assertive with its property rights 30 years ago but had a responsibility to keep their rights of way clear.

Williams has appealed to the city of Seattle, Bonneville, and Seattle City Light. She says City Light has offered the use of the land to her— and any of the other 300 homeowners who are interested— for an annual fee of $100, but the fence will still have to go.

Williams says she is scheduled to talk with City Light again next week in hopes of reaching a better compromise.