Neighbors protest sale of vacated LS streets

The trees along the creek are part of Colfax Street.

Lime Springs City Council was likely going to sell the vacated streets of Colfax and Carey to Terry and Sharon Larson at the meeting on Feb. 7 except that neighbors adjoining the property came forward to say they wanted the chance to purchase the property.

After several discussions at council meetings and a public hearing regarding the vacation and upcoming sale of Colfax and Carey streets, the final public hearing was to agree to the sale of the property for one dollar to Larsons. The couple recently purchased the property between the two streets in the southeast part of town (formerly owned by Sam Shroyer).

They agreed to pay one dollar plus all expenses, including public notices, lawyer fees, survey and abstract on the two streets, which border the Larson property.

The public hearing was opened, and Harlan Larson told the council the five homeowners on the north side were interested in purchasing the vacated Colfax Street themselves.

Since purchasing the property, Larson had been clearing out brush, and the homeowners were afraid he was going to take down all the trees and brush on Colfax (which runs partly through the creek and includes the creek bank and the area to the south of the creek). “The trees that are there are healthy and provide shade in summer and shelter for birds,” Larson added

City Clerk Carla Moser explained nobody had been to a prior public hearing, and this hearing was for the sale of real estate to Larsons. “You can counteroffer, but it is a City Council decision. The Council can postpone this decision.”

Max Stockman expressed the homeowners’ feelings. “We thought when the streets were vacated, 33 feet went to the owners and the other 33 feet to the other.” (Sixty-six feet is the general width of a street.)

Harlan Larson was concerned about erosion if the trees were taken out on the south side. Terry Larson interjected, “I’ve got removed what I’m going to remove. My intention was that I was only buying half of the road, but the (legal description) says I was buying the whole road. I want my half, and their half, they’ll have to pay their own lawyer fees.”

Councilman Brian Johnson suggested, “How about let’s go through with this and give it to Terry and you buy it from him.”

Councilman Kevin Bill added, “It would save you guys on public hearings and other expenses.”

Marc Stockman and Brad Hall both indicated they wanted the entire 66 feet. Terry Larson again stated he wanted the 33 feet to the south. They two sides did not come to a decision.

The public hearing was closed. Moser suggested, “Each homeowner submit what you are proposing and get an attorney involved. Then the Council will take it from there. You must have the proposals in no later than Feb. 14 (the date of a budget workshop).”

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