Skip to comments.***HEADS UP WEST VIRGINIA ***Make a Stand For Your Property Rights!
Posted on 01/06/2002 8:20:11 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK
Not For Sale! There are alternatives to the proposed total land grab that would allow those who want to sell to go and those who want to stay, to remain. There is no such thing as a "fair price" for something that isn't for sale.
Intent? Is the government's use of eminent domain to take property for non-critical projects when there are clear alternatives to forced land acquisition appropriate? Government seizure of property from people not willing to part with it is not respect for property rights no matter what the government might pay. Does anyone really think the founding fathers had a concept of government "parks?" Did our founding fathers, many of who were agrarian landowners, mean to sanction these massive home and land takings to "preserve scenery" in the name of the "public good?" It's more likely that they assumed that the government would be restricted to activities it is authorized and mandated to do in the Constitution, and nothing else.
U.S. Constitutional Rights: As yet another example of government's attitude and behavior in this case, landowners have been informed that they shall only be compensated for the physical value of their land and homes. Yet, this same property is taken seized in the name of its "scenic" value! Amendment V of the Constitution of the United States includes the phrase that:
"nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
West Virginia Constitutional Rights: The West Virginia Constitution states that:
"nor shall private property be taken for public use or damaged without just compensation."
What is happening in the case of the People of the New River clearly violates this fundamental principle of governance of our state.
Circumventing the Law? According to Federal law the Park Service almost always has to grant as a minimum life tenancy, but in the case of the New River Parkway it appears the state is buying the land, to circumvent this law? Could then the property be turned over to the National Park Service free and clear?
Do they just need something to do with all that budget surplus money? Despite the huge budget surpluses in recent years, have you noticed that the government has not given the average guy a real tax break? Instead it appears it is being used for new government programs and projects and expansion of current ones, like the New River Parkway. Does the fact that there is so much surplus money contribute to the rush to expand small economic development projects into giant land grabs? The original New River Parkway plan allowed for a scenic highway, at less cost and with less land acquisition!
Why do we need another big government program when a smaller program can accomplish the same economic benefit for the area? We've got a better idea: a tax cut and more responsible scope for projects such as the New River Parkway. Don't we need to keep as much land as possible in the hands of private individuals AND as much money in our wallets as possible?
About scenic or conservation easements: Scenic easements can allow a landowner to live within the bounds of a scenic area, such as a National Park, but require the landowner to maintain and repair his/her property in a manner that blends in with the surrounding area. This could be an alternative to the current New River Parkway Plan, but in many cases scenic easements strip or eliminate property rights of landowners, so they must be accepted and applied with great scrutiny so as not to be abusive of individual rights. For more information, see Danger of Easements .
Why is it that the government is not offering to compensate willing landowners for the full physical and scenic value of their property? It is intolerable that they are forcing people out of their homes and off their private land, but in addition they are not providing full value for the land being acquired (stolen).
An informative web site on land rights is: Know Your Land Rights .
Make a Stand For Your Property Rights!
Private property is the foundation of our freedom and the fountainhead of our prosperity.
We are allowing our government to strip our children of both! It must stop!
Government-owned land pays no property tax that supports our schools, thereby adversely affecting the very quality of our children's education.
"But your land is in the view shed," the National Park Service says. Where does the "view shed" in the New River Gorge or other areas end with the NPS?
As long as the land is in America, we, the people, have a sovereign right to the ownership of private property, access to our public lands, scrutiny of our tax dollars and an obligation to protect our own natural resources, our freedom and our prosperity.
For any agency, person, politician to ever think an American citizen should accept their ongoing rhetoric used to strip us of any of the aforementioned, is reprehensible, or should be, to a free society.
The other issue is that first of all, our lands have been surrounded by the NPS and therefore there is no "open" so no "fair" market value for our lands! Who wants the NPS as a neighbor? So,fair market value does not exist and if we are forced to sell........made willing-sellers, it will be through condemnation and eminent domain! We do not want to sell! We have enough national parks, by the way they have a $12 billion dollar deficet in taking care of what they already own or "take care" of!
There are no sub-divisions here, there are no land owners willing to sell their children's heritages for any form of development, and we are the best stewards of the lands!
The tourists to the area are always leaving their beer cans, dirty diapers, broken glass in the water and on the beaches/river bank for others to get hurt on!
If having the land owneres run you off the land, then apparently you did not show the courtesy of asking permission-----which would probably have been given! I am sure you would have been asked to clean up any messes you left, that is why you are probably so angry and wishing for another national park, one you can let someone else clean up behind you!
Well, comrade, that's what state and national parks are for. Private owners of property are under no obligation to permit strangers to tear up their land with dirt bikes, ATVs and the like.
Eighty-four citizens of Hinton, West Virginia are in the fight of their lives. Residents along the New River are being threatened by Federal and State land-grabbers. Soon, they may lose their homes.
It all started in 1987 when Hinton folks, who reside along State Route 26, were told by authorities that their badly worn road was soon to be repaired. The road had needed repairs and widening for some time, and those who relied on Route 26 were thrilled. Little did they know that this announcement of so-called "repairs" would mark the beginning of their fight to keep their homes and their land.
Instead of merely repairing the road, a authorities hatched a plan to build a New River Parkway. And because the new road is going to be a "parkway," much private property along the parkway and even homes within view of the parkway are marked for government acquisition. You see, parkways are supposed to be "scenic" and that means no homes, no matter how long theyve existed, are allowed to disrupt the scenery of a "pristine environment."
The folks of Hinton arent taking this land grab lying down. Theyre fighting. Some have formed a group called "Sisters of the River" and they maintain a website at www.inlibertyandfreedom.com/riversisters.htm. Ann Roach, a grandmother of 8 who owns a cabin along the New River in Hinton has been leading the charge against this injustice. "We were shocked to learn this sort of thing was happening all over the country and not just to us," says Ann. "Theyre coming for our land and theyre going to take it."
Once again, private property is about to be taken in the name of preserving the environment. Never mind that the folks in Hinton have done a flawless job being good stewards of their landwhich is more than the local government can say of its own run-down, dilapidated shacks nearby.
Again, the government is using bogus studies with no scientific basis to excuse this land grab. Once again politicians are ignoring the plight of their constituents under the excuse of protecting an environment that doesnt need protecting.
YOU can help stop this latest land grab by calling the following elected leaders:
1. Senator Robert Byrd: Phone (202) 224-3954, Fax (202) 228-0002. One phone call from Sen. Byrd can put an end to this nonsense. Tell Sen. Byrd to get involved and stop looking the other way when his constituents need him! Tell him to save the residents on the New River in Hinton!
2. Representative Nick Rahall: Phone (202) 225 3452, Fax (202) 225-9061. Congressman Rahall is one of the leading forces behind this tyranny. Call Rep. Rahall and tell him that the property right of the New River residents ARE NOT to be trampled for the construction of his beloved pet project!
3. Norris Cantor, President of the New River Parkway Authority: Phone (304) 327-3551, Fax (304) 325-7495. Norris is the guy in charge of the land grab at the local level. Hes the one crafting the plans to swipe the land and homes right out from under the residents along the river. Let him know how you feel about that.
4. John Aliff, newly elected Commissioner of Raleigh County: Phone (304) 255-9146. As county commissioner, John Aliff has a lot of power over whether or not this land grab takes place. Originally, it appeared as if he was on the side of the property owners on the New River. However, now it is apparent he is straddling the fence. He needs to hear from us! Please call Commissioner Aliff and urge him to fight for the property rights of his constituents on the New River!
When you call, some of these weasels may lie to you and tell you that APCs accusations arent truethat no land grab is in progress. I assure you, APC is working directly with residents along the New River. We are also working with the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) to bring legal action to stop this land grab.
It is urgent that the officials listed above know that their actions are under the spotlight. They must know that this land grab will not go down without a fightand they must understand that they will be held accountable for this theft of private property.
*Note: 2002 is shaping up to be a vital year. Good patriots are defending liberty on many different fronts. We want to make APCs Action Alert System the most effective in the nation. If you know of activists who should be receiving these alertsespecially those with distribution lists of their ownplease have them contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax us at: (540) 341-8917. Thank you. © 2001 American Policy Center
You mean the city of Wheeling shouldn't kick property/business owners out of the downtown area in order to create the wondrous and oh-so-critical Victorian Outlet Mall to which all West Virginians will be contributing?
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