County should do job, protect citizens
Steve Beattie’s flip and derogatory comment toward the Westbank homeowners seems rather inappropriate, not to mention inaccurate.
First of all, we were told by the county that as homeowners we have the right to say “no” to a developer exploiting our neighborhood for his own financial gain. Saying “no” means asking the Garfield County commissioners to uphold their own rules and regulations, which do not allow a common road to connect two separate subdivisions.
The only reason three-quarters of the homeowners agreed to a settlement was because we were told that if we didn’t, Marlin Colorado Ltd. would make this the biggest federal case in history and cost us all hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the county might build a public road through our neighborhood.
The homeowners were scared into the agreement through these threats. The homeowners don’t want this road through our neighborhood.
The road was illegally constructed against the homeowners’ expressed objections and the commissioners’ unanimous ruling against it. There are more than a few of us who believe that this type of intimidation and legal maneuvering should be stopped by the courts and the county commissioners.
We are asking the county commissioners to uphold their subdivisions rules and regulations, to deny the settlement agreement, and to shut the road down on their own without involving Westbank in expensive litigation. This is hardly a “just say no and hope Marlin goes away” philosophy.
We believe the county attorney, Don DeFord, should have shut the road down immediately on Sept. 4 when it was illegally constructed against the commissioners’ ruling. If the county allows this type of unethical and illegal activity to be approved, it sets a precedent for all of Garfield County and the Roaring Fork Valley – that the law doesn’t matter, county rules and regulations don’t matter. As property owners, we are all vulnerable without the protection of the legal system and American justice.
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