Westbank board doesn’t speak for all residents | PostIndependent.com

Westbank board doesn’t speak for all residents

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank Tresi B. Houpt for her choice of topic in the column “My Side” on Monday, Aug. 5. I am grateful that someone can make sense of the three-ring circus which has been playing out between Westbank, Prehm and the county. It is also nice to hear someone in favor of a trail system which would enrich our neighborhood and allow us more recreation.

A letter recently received from our homeowner’s board states, “Obviously, those interested in the bike trail/road are not at all concerned about the effect this would have on Westbank, our security, our privacy and the value of our properties. This is a very different issue from gated, restricted private access.”

What the board fails to mention is that our settlement agreement, which would allow for a gated, restricted private access, has no recourse for violation. The Westbank homeowners could only take the developer to court and pay more money to our lawyer. Isn’t that interesting?

They also fail to mention that a private road could in fact become a public road. I do not see how a road is the lesser of two evils.

I have learned that if a trail were in fact created, the easement would no longer be wide enough for a road. Reportedly, an easement of 85 feet or more would be required to construct a trail with a road. The easement at issue is only 60 feet wide.

As Tresi Houpt stated, this trail would ultimately connect our various town trail systems. The Westbank Board told homeowners that this trail could be used for “both recreation and transit opportunities.” Maybe they are forgetting that vehicles are not the only form of transit.

I believe many homewoners in this neighborhood are tired of fishing out money to a lawyer without having more voice and ownership in matters that directly affect them. All the information we receive from our board is slanted, and we have to do our homework to learn about any other options. Maybe if our lawyer would have done his homework, he would have known that there was no 1902 access through Westbank owned by the county when he asked for this property to be vacated.

What I can’t figure out is why more people in this neighborhood don’t come forward and voice an opinion. Clearly many feel the same as we do, because they have voiced it when there is personal conversation or correspondence. I urge them to come forward publicly so that our board members know they are not speaking for our entire neighborhood anymore. Opinions and circumstances have changed since Dec. 17 and perhaps so should our board.

Information has come forth which seems to make the original settlement agreement that we were told could be resolved within two to three weeks of Dec. 17 null and void! This matter can now be resolved between the county and Prehm Ranch developers.

Thank you to the county commissioners for finally standing up to a ruthless developer along with its legal representation and fighting for what’s best for the people.

Simone Hiller

Westbank resident

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