Private Rights vs Public Good–who should win?

Update:  The Citizen, Bobby Maguire, was given permission to use a 33′ right of way.  In exchange for his use (not ownership) of 1/2 an acre of land, he has voluntarily given to the state 1 full acre, and $15,000.  More than fair, I would say.

I enjoy, no LOVE, my place at Rose Valley Lake in PA. Perhaps you have seen some of my photographs that I have posted here ocassionally, or visited my  sets on Flickr (around Rose Valley Lake and  creeks and rivers)  The beauty remains despite reasonable and rational development.

I love it so much that I am, In fact, disappointed every time I have to leave here to return to “Civilization.” That said, I also understand that private citizens have a right to use their private property in ways that they see fit, so long as the proposed uses are in line with the general guidelines and zoning of the area.

The “Friends of Rose Valley Lake” are stepping beyond the bounds of good citizens, as they are now seeking to block an individual from using his property in accordance with the zoning laws of the area. They are asserting that by granting this man access to his property (through the State fish commission property) he will somehow be violating the law.

They write on their homepage that:

” The ‘intent’ for Rose Valley Lake, was to ‘prevent developments . . . and retain the area in generally primitive conditions,'”

They then are somehow complaining that this citizen is willing to “trade with the PFBC one acre of land (generally inaccessible to the public) and $15,000 in exchange for an expanded farm lane right-of-way through Rose Valley Lake.”

Apparently the fact that he isn’t asking for a flat trade of one acre for another, but rather giving the state the land, AND $15,000, isn’t sufficient. Also, apparently the statement that the one acre of land is “generally inaccessible to the public” is meant to imply that is somehow a negative. Interesting in that many believe that in order to meet the objective of maintaining land in “generally primitive conditions” we should keep people from going there. (Remember, the biggest enemy of National Parks tends to be visitors to those same parks….)

One final comment from them. They are argue that the proposed trade would be for an “expanded farm lane right-of-way through Rose Valley Lake public lands in order to facilitate private development.”

Note this citizen isn’t proposing to DEVELOP public lands. He is simply seeking access to his privately owned property, so that he can exercise his legal right to develop his property as he sees fit, in accordance with the local zoning ordinances.

I ask–who are the unreasonable ones?

Also, they are requesting people sign their petition, but there exists no comparable avenue to elicit support for the land owner.  I have created a form, and would appreciate your taking the time to respond.  And for the record, I am interested in learning about BOTH sides of this.


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