Campground Gets Land From County
An Indiana county turned over a road that a campground's owners thought had been theirs for 44 years, despite opposition to the move.
A heated debate over the move took up most of the meeting Tuesday (Feb. 25) of the Koscicusko County commissioners, according to news site StaceyPageOnline.com.
The petitioners, William and Beverly Long, own Hoffman Lake Campground outside Warsaw, Ind. The couple has owned and maintained the campground for 44 years and assumed they owned the property where the right-of-way is located.
The Longs' son, Michael, said the property has been in the family for three generations.
“We have tried to compromise,” he said. It wasn’t until recently a survey discovered the public ways on the campground.
Attorney Richard Helm, who represents several remonstrators living in Lakeview Park subdivision argued, “The law makes no provisions for private persons to lay claim to public areas.”
Helm said the Longs don’t have “squatter’s rights” and don’t pay taxes on the property. “They can’t just take over a street that is a public right-of-way,” Helm said.
Despite also hearing from several remonstrators for close to 45 minutes, two of the three commissioners voted to vacate both public ways, with the third commissioner abstaining.
The approval came with conditions: The Longs must pay taxes on the two tracts for the past 44 years, install no-parking signs, update the property survey and install a fence around the land in question.
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