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.
Property owner on Hilary Path
I want to know who do they think is paying for this project? Obviously it is the TAXPAYERS! The renovation and maintainance is not coming out of the commissioners pocket. It will come out of our pockets. What makes them think that enough of our community (taxpayers) would use this land to make it worth stealing it from a family who obviously wants to keep it. If it was to "Preserve" the land and wild life why would they think running a paved bike path and picnic area through it would be a good idea??? Sounds to me like they do not know the meaning of preserving nature.Even if the family wanted to sell it I would still not be cautious about developing the land The more development and people trampling through the area will not help the environment at all. This project is a waste of tax payers money for 2 reasons:1 the legal fight with the "OWNERS" of the land. 2. The money that will be spent on development and maintenance.
Unlawful & Shameful. Buy some vacant land and build your park. Put in a river if you want one so badly. Leave these citizens and their property alone, so they can pursue their right to happiness.
Tom Cardajust now
Jeff Witter5 hours ago
- 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!
- Our next court date is March 11th at 1:30 pm, (arrive around 1:00pm) at the Hastings Dakota County Court House, 1560 Highway 55, Hastings, MN. We are trying to fill the court room again, to show the judge that this situation is very important to the public. If Dakota County gets away with this, it will be much easier for any other county to take private property from other citizens. We are trying to stop all of the bullying and robbery of our private properties. Thank you again for all of your support. We would not have any hope, if we didn't have so many people supporting us.
- Court went well today. About 70 to 100 people showed up to show their support. They had to move the court to a larger court room to make sure everyone fit. The judge wants to hear more and the next court date will be March 11th. The judge also wants to come down to all of the propertys effected and also walk the park. So, that is all good signs. The judge said he has one of three choices to make: 1 - Allow Dakota County to take our entire property. 2 - Allow Dakota County to only take the 1.8 acres that is needed for the bike trail. 3 - Don't allow Dakota County to take any portion of our property. We all appreciate everyone that showed your support today! And, also those that were unable to make it, but had us in their prayers.