30 October 2013 - THIRTEEN

Proposition Four: Settling A Long-Running Land Dispute Upstate | MetroFocus

The November 5 general election attention is on the Mayor's race in New York City, but did you know there are six complex ballot measures facing New York ...

imagine living in a place as beautiful

as this and living in fear that you might actually be seen somewhere around over in there is a camp that's been there for ages and ages and that's where the gentleman said they always painted everything green so hopefully it didn't stand out a little as a young girl Carolyn guerdon received some very specific instructions about the family's new summer home unrec at Lake I was told never to discuss this in public so this is this has been very hard for us because there's so much at stake here and to put yourself on the line in a sense like this is it's difficult decades later she and many of her neighbors are doing just that the case of Township 40 which encompasses the majority of racket lake in the town of Long Lake has been brought out of the darkness and into the light of day it will be proposition for on your ballot this November it's a case that has cost the state and the residents hundreds of thousands of dollars why because apparently there were some pretty poor record keepers in the late 19th century the question of title became an issue and when squatters came to the shore and developed the shore with rude crude

camps and structures and some of the islands and rapidly so whatever the reasons poor record-keeping clerical errors or just general confusion there has been a clouded title issue on 216 parcels here from lake homes to the schoolhouse to the fire station Jim Blanchard's great-grandfather built the first hunting camp on the lake after the Civil War he runs a bed-and-breakfast on the same land some 150 years later I think they're everybody to talk publicly we were afraid of that action and costing us money and angst because it's it's aggravating to think about if you think about having to go to court to defend your own land I think the important thing I like to stress is is that the state used to call this state land contested by us and it is not it's our land contested by the state the state has sued residents up here a number of times over the last century with few victories it was determined that a constitutional amendment was the best way to handle this convoluted issue as required at past two consecutive sessions of the legislature in 2012 and in 2013 and again will be proposition

for on this year's ballot if the measure passes each disputed owner will pay a flat rate of two thousand dollars per parcel and an amount equal to the total assessed value of the parcel to the town of Long Lake the Dec estimates the cost for each owner will be around 2,700 dollars a landowner can reduce that amount by conveying a portion back to the state for inclusion in the forest preserve or conservation easement to the town this money would then be used to purchase land that will become part of the forest preserve we really would like everybody in New York State to know that this is designed to help everybody it's no cost to any taxpayer in the state it adds wonderful it's going to be recreational land it's going to be valuable the amendment requires that it be of net benefit it does solve our problem if this doesn't pass what happens well we don't really know obviously but we're not leaving this is my home and it'll always be my own i'm matt ryan for metro focus

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