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May 7, 2009
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Tiny victory over encroachment for Missouri Heights landowner

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado " A Missouri Heights woman has been badgering Garfield County for years about a variety of lot-line, easement and real estate issues, including allegations of misconduct by county officials.

This week, Adreinne Crouch finally won a small victory when the county admitted that one of its roads has been encroaching on her property.

The land involved is only about 83 square feet in size, along County Road 162-A, and it was only after a detailed search of county records that county surveyor Scott Abner turned up the discrepancy.

But after hearing a report from Abner, planning director Fred Jarman and others at a work session on Monday, the Board of County Commissioners directed staff members to remove all "improvements" placed on the parcel, such as fencing, and return the land to the condition desired by Crouch.

Crouch, whose family has owned the land in question since 1983, was not entirely satisfied, however, claiming the volume of property involved is more than 83 square feet.

Among a litany of complaints ranging from improper subdivision of a neighboring property to the theft of her water by the owners of the same subdivision, she accused county officials of complicity in efforts to illegally and quietly adjust lot lines for the benefit of her neighbors.

"I admire your tenacity in coming here many times, because you feel you've been wronged," declared commissioner Mike Samson.

But, he added, if she was saying that county employees have acted illegally "to cheat you out of your property ... that's going to have to go to court. These are very serious allegations."

Commissioner John Martin agreed, telling Crouch that "coming here once a month for five years ... hasn't really resolved anything."

Crouch, who currently owns 36 acres left over from a 400-acre ranch her parents bought in 1983, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that she will continue with her fight and likely will be filing lawsuits as soon as she can find an attorney without a conflict of interest in the matter.

She reeled off a list of names of prominent local attorneys, land surveyors and others whom she said have been actively involved in shady dealings in Missouri Heights development schemes for decades, as an example of why she has been having trouble finding legal help.

But, she concluded, "It is about to blow up."

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The Post Independent Updated May 7, 2009 01:47AM Published May 7, 2009 01:47AM Copyright 2009 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.