The Transylvania Times -

Don't Take Our Land


August 19, 2019

My husband and I bought our property on Old Hendersonville Highway in Pisgah Forest 20 years ago. We bought the property from a family who had lived and farmed it for over 60 years. When we purchased it we stated that, “our intent was to retain it as a working farm.” Included in the purchase was a railroad on which a train would go by every few days but which has not been used for many years.

Now a group called “Friends of the Ecusta Trail” is proposing to build a trail for public use across our land. If this occurs, it would entail the government taking a wide swath of land across the center of our property against our will. The property on which we have paid taxes for over 20 years would be turned over to a group that does not pay taxes, and has no known means to manage, maintain, or police the area that would literally cut our land in half. We don’t want strangers on our land without our permission.

When the railroad was built, the previous owners of our property gave the railroad a right of way. The right of way was for a railroad line. From the very beginning the owners of our property had the right to expect the right of way would be used for a railway only, and if the railway was ever abandoned, the right of way would be abandoned with it. Now this group wants to take our land so they can bike, walk and “recreate” on our land without our permission and against our will.

This is a classic example of a government “takings” of a person’s property without the owner’s agreement or consent. We strongly oppose this taking of our land and urge responsible Transylvania County government and citizens to oppose this taking of your fellow citizens’ property.

Courtenay C. McDowell

Richard K. Gregory

Pisgah Forest


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