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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Guest Response To Standard Examiner Article Critical of Ogden Valley Land Trust

Guest Post by Truthsayer

It is very unfortunate that Cameron Neugebauer did not present a fair and balanced account of the 
OVLT land issue in Eden.  He only presented the side of irate land ownersgiving a very integrous and responsible non-profit a black eye.  He did not do his research.

This is what he missed:
The “lots” in question are building lots, in an existing subdivision, bordering a paved street.  They do not have a conservation easement on them.  They do not even meet the criteria for nature preserve or conservation easement.

When an easement is given to a land trust, the land trust is legally bound to preserve the boundaries of saideasement.  Sometimes land is given to a land trust without an easement to allow the land trust to sell this property.  It is critical that land trusts have funds with which to defend those boundaries, in court if necessary.  This is not “revenge’, it is a legal obligation.

There are many other lots for sale in the area including one that is next to the property Neugebauer wrote about.  New homes are being built.  Residents knew they were going to be in a neighborhood.  That is why it is called a “subdivision”.

What is the Standard Examiner’s policy on getting a response so that an article has two fair sides?  The property in question is owned by a board and a response cannot always be obtained on short notice.  Unlike angry residents, a responsible board needs to make a reasoned, factual response to allegations such as his article raised.

Encroachments have gone far beyond trees and wild grasses.  They have included a concrete pad with a storage shed, covered garage, garage, swimming pool, fire pits, part of a patio, landscaping boulders, illegally changing the flow of water in a stream to create a koi pond.  In addition surrounding neighbors have dumped yard clippings and refuse and dog feces onto the trail.  Again, when easements are given to a land trust it is their legal obligation to preserve the integrity and boundaries of that easement.  If someone built a garage on your property you would not hesitate to sue them to have it removed.

His comments about the OVLT court cases are inaccurate and need to be corrected.  Go to the court records.   Read the case.  Get the facts.  The comments made in the Standard Examiner article cannot be hearsay.  They must be backed up by facts.

This was a poor piece of reporting seemingly done for its sensational value and not in the interest of responsible journalism.  


rudizink said...

Here's a link to the referenced Standard-Examiner story, for those who missed it:

Trouble in Eden; land disputes escalate

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