Last Tuesday, Fox News reported that Andy and Ceil Barrie are battling Summit County, Colo., commissioners who want to take their mountainside property using eminent domain. Why? Apparently because they want to.
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Fox News reported:
Their battle is a unique test of private property rights. Unlike in countless other cases, where local governments have used those powers to seize land to make way for a road or some economic development project, Colorado’s Summit County is using eminent domain to go after the Barries’ land simply because officials want the open space.
It’s a peaceful plot of land the Barries don’t want to part with.
It seems the property is surrounded by 2.2 million acres of White River National Forest, and is essentially an island of private property. According to Fox, it has an old mining cabin, an outhouse and a shuttered gold mine, and, Fox added, it’s popular with hikers.
It’s also the private property of American citizens and these days, that simply won’t do.
The battle, according to Fox, is simply unbelievable:
The couple’s trouble started when the U.S. Forest Service took them to task for using a utility vehicle to drive from their main residence to their cabin. They say they never went off-road, and petitioned for the path to be declared a county road.
The county wanted to buy it, but the couple refused.
Then the county voted to condemn the property for wiring and plumbing the cabin doesn’t have.
But that wasn’t all — the county went so far as to push for eminent domain, just to preserve the open space.
But it gets worse:
The Barries’ hopes are dimming. Asked if recent mediation pointed to a way for the Barries to keep the land in the family name and avoid eminent domain, Andy Barrie responded flatly, “No, they’re taking it.”
Further, they’re concerned that should Summit County seize control of their 10-acre tract, the county will simply trade the property with the U.S. Forest Service for valuable land closer to town.
“They collude together to basically screw up their citizens. … Sooner or later, we’re going to run out of money, but we wanted to fight the good fight and let people know our story and what their government is up to,” Andy Barrie said.
In short, private property rights are under assault across the country by power-hungry elected officials who don’t care about things like freedom or the Constitution.
Check out the video report below:
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