Cate Houdek: Holding Silverthorne hostage over trail |

Cate Houdek: Holding Silverthorne hostage over trail

Cate Houdek

The upcoming vote in Silverthorne befuddles me. The easement in question was put into place in 1963. The Blue River Trail planning process began in the 1980s. A master plan was adopted in 2004. How is it that a person can come along in 2010, buy this property, and now cry foul? I wonder when the other property owners leading this charge bought their homes – I’d be willing to wager all of them were after 1963 and most of them were during or after the trail planning process. Were these facts somehow hidden or obscured? Have these people heard of caveat emptor?

It seems to me this vote is not one of eminent domain, but one of eminent ignorance and arrogance of a handful of property owners holding an entire town, and many Summit County residents and visitors, hostage.

They talk about their rights and privileges. I was always taught that privileges come with responsibilities. Responsibilities of property ownership include upkeep, taxes and first and foremost, knowing everything about the property, including easements and community plans, before you buy it!

Throughout the entire county, including parts of Silverthorne, you can be on trails and paths that co-exist peacefully, beautifully, side-by-side in places with private homes. Yet it can’t work on this one little section because a few people are playing the property ownership card to rally others around them, under the flag of ownership rights.

I salute that flag myself and I want to protect those rights, as do most Americans, I’m sure. Yet I also recognize when people are behaving badly. I support protection of property rights, not support and encouragement of people who are the least responsible about having them. I hope enough eligible voters in Silverthorne feel the same way.

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