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Vacating public access a mistake

Simone Hiller

Dear Editor,

I have been pleased and surprised to see so many people responding to the Westbank/Prehm issue in Garfield County. It is refreshing to know that people who do not even live in our neighborhood realize the actions of the county board in this ruling will directly affect every town in our county. I feel strongly that what has happened to our neighborhood is unjustified.

I believe that County Commissioners should not be able to vacate deeded access that belongs to the people of Garfield County. The public commented that the 1902 access should remain as a hiking/biking trail for the good of the public. Wouldn’t this be the lesser of two evils for Westbank? If proper notification was given in regards to vacating this road, I can’t help but believe that there may have been more citizens working toward an alternative outcome. I feel this is an option which has not been properly researched by commissioners before giving up this valuable land.

The commissioners have gone back on their original ruling to unanimously deny access from Prehm Ranch to Westbank Ranch. Garfield County rules and regulations do not provide for a common road to connect two subdivisions. I am distraught that certain county officials bargained with each other until they found the correct terminology to make this access seem legal. Has the county board exceeded their authority in more than one manner?

As it stands the current settlement benefits only one person and harms everyone else. If this 1902 road is actually deeded property to Garfield County, then it should be available for citizens to enjoy. Garfield County would be making a big mistake to just give it away to a developer who shows no respect for our laws.

Simone Hiller

Westbank


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