How in this country where there are freedoms, equality, and justice, can we be treated this way? The United States of America is supposed to be the land of the free. How can our own property and things that we rightfully own be stripped from us? This is not the America I grew up to know.
I know that many people have been slapped with eminent domain or condemnation. These people were forced to give up their own property for usually an unfair payout. My family is now in the middle of this story/nightmare. I ask that someone out there in this government do something to make this country right again, and possibly help us with our fight. This cannot be the way we handle things. Dakota County has misled, humiliated, manipulated, and bullied my family. For centuries Dakota County has had their eye on my father's estate that lies on Spring Lake in Hastings, MN. Our family has been treated so poorly by Dakota County for so many years, that my father even put in his will "Do not sell the property to Dakota County." He also told me this when he was close to death. However, when my father passed away in February of 2011, they were fast moving to get their plan in action. Having enjoyed the land since the 1950’s my family as a whole was resistant to selling the whole property to Dakota County. We were told that if we did not work with the County on this issue that the land would be taken from us with Eminent Domain or Condemnation. We wanted to do everything in our power to keep this land. It is truly a magical quiet settlement with a beautiful bay and natural spring surrounded by flourishing woods and waters. It is a perfect living area or vacation spot for any of our future family and friends.One of the commissioners actually noted this herself and told us at a meeting that they wanted us to share our property with the public. What a slap in the face that was... These commissioners and other Dakota County workers were stern and said that they were going to put an 8 foot paved bike trail through our property and that it would be better if we would work with them. This bike trail is part of the MRRT (Mississippi River Regional Trail Project).
Seeing this threat, we realized that we should probably work with the County willingly in all aspects so that we could keep something of our future dream. We accepted these workers to come on our land and find the best route for their trail. We helped them find a way to get their vehicles to the path through our property where they would tear down trees and get the path leveled and paved. We found a time where they could have someone come in and sample the soil. We worked with them every step of the way. We went to meetings to share our opinion of where the trail should go. We worked with them in good faith to help make this trail happen. We have been working with the county for two years now to help them make this, what was inevitable distraction and disruption from our paradise, bike trail so the public could enjoy a piece of our peace. On the last closed meeting that took place on Tuesday, November 5th, which was supposed to be an open meeting to discuss the amount offered to us for the 1.8 acres, the worst was revealed. They never planned on only buying the 1.8 acres from us. They mislead us for two years when we were working with them. They slapped us with condemnation of our whole property, the entire 10.4 acres. We soon realized that our future dream, family history and paradise is now going to be stripped from us and there is nothing we can do about it. This is not how America, the land of the free, should be treating it’s people. The fact that the government, with it’s power can treat people, citizens of it’s land like this is unfathomable.
For those of you who read this story and said to yourself, “I have been in that position”, I am so sorry for your loss and feel your agony. For those of you who have not been in this position, I hope that you never are. For those of you who caused my family this much torment, I question how you can sleep at night and I hope you are never in this position with your family.If you would like to see what Dakota County plans on turning our beautiful property into, check out their "Master Plan" that they posted online dated 2003. They are acting like they already own our property! This is our land, Dakota County!
Thank you for reading our story. If you choose to help us by signing this petition we truly thank you from the bottom of our heart.
Dakota County, you have no business here! First, you expect property tax payment for all of the time they own this land and now you want to STEAL it from them? Yes, it's stealing. plain and simple.
Yes, it is true. We are losing our rights to our properties. Everyone out there with a beloved property they have invested in or a historical family property is at risk. We are in the early stages of trying to save our century farm from people who are using the law to legally steal what has been in our family for one hundred years. I cannot comment much farther but know that this also will be going public soon. We as citizens need to continue to stand up. I also agree to previous comments, how can these people sleep at night? Please continue the efforts. We as a majority change need to amend this law(s). Don't let this effort die in vain.
Very unfair. Shame on you Dakota County!
Jared Johnson4 weeks ago Comments: -
Jillian Weber4 weeks ago Comments: -
Maxine Copeman4 weeks ago Comments: Dakota County, you have no right to the property. There are other ways that you can go!
- The Dakota County Commissioners finalized their vote today and agreed on our settlement. So, we will not be going to court on March 26th at 9 am. However, our neighbors, the Sorgs will be still going to court, as they have not been able to negotiate with Dakota County. If you are free tomorrow, please consider going to support the Sorgs. Thank you again for everyones support! We appreciate all of you.
- We were in negotiations with Dakota County and made a temporary agreement with them. The agreement is not final yet. If the agreement doesn't go through, then we will be in court on March 26th at 9:00 am. Our neighbors, Sorgs and Gramseys will also be at this court hearing. The agreement is not the greatest, but we were told by the judge that if we didn't do this agreement then we would lose the property. As he has to side with Dakota County because of what the law says about Eminent Domain. We kind of feel like we have been bullied and forced to do this agreement. But, at least we can keep the majority of our property for now. The agreement is : They will buy the 1.8 acres now for the bike trail. They will put a conservation easement on the majority of the rest of the property, not including where the house is. This easement prevents us from developing the property, from cutting down trees, etc etc. In 20 - 40 years they can buy the rest of our property, if they still want it. They will pay 80% of our lawyers fees. Thank you to all of you for your support. We appreciate all of you! We could not have gotten this far without your support.
- We had negotiations today on Mar 10th. It lasted all day and we didn't come to any compromise yet. The judge wants us to keep negotiating. The court date for Mar 11th has been postponed until Mar 24th or 25th. We will let everyone know the exact date when we know. Thank you again for everyone's support!