Thursday, July 10, 2008

This Land is Neither Yours Nor Mine

Greenwich, CT is having issues trying to figure out who is in control of public land. An empty, weed-strewn lot was converted by a few teens into a wiffle-ball field and has attracted numerous other teens to the area to play. This is driving the neighbors batty because they bought their property not realizing that the land could or would be repurposed. Then it's a fight between the kids and neighbors and everyone is duking it out through the government to figure out who gets their way.


LB said...

Interesting bit.

The article misses the point of land ownership, erroneously connecting the legality of the operation as the difference between Iowa and Greenwich. It states that it's town land, but a neighbor says it's there for flood prevention. How and why did the parcel come into town possession, and who paid for it? If it was purchased with state or federal funds, there is a better chance that it will be protected as open space in perpetuity.

If that flooding bit is true, the baseball field does not interfere, and depending on the slope, a fully vegetated swale could be built to slow down the runoff. If the $1.25 million property is really an empty lot owned by the town, perhaps they'll have to sell it to recoup the expenses of a lawsuit. Then the neighbor behind homeplate could come home to the sounds of new construction for a year and the sounds of a nice big family, or perhaps a community center (should the town decide to keep the property).

Silly people, caveat emptor. When the owner of the land next to yours is a branch of the government, don't take the word of your realtor - do your homework.

Kim said...

It's all an excuse to keep spooky teenagers (did you hear that they drink, smoke, and make out when more than one is gathered in any location) from darkening their doorways. I do feel for the homeowners--it probably does get loud. But really--an empty town-owned lot could have been turned into anything. And when you have people actually winning monetary damage awards because they did risky behavior on town property (really--getting money for breaking your leg sledding--who ever heard of such stupidity?), then the town certainly needs to take that into account. But the homeowners should have much less say in the matter.

I totally agree--caveat emptor. Our local town is dealing with a whole bunch of unhappy people because they bought homes near the airport--they're complaining about the noise. Really! The airport was already there.