• Property rights under assault
    April 04,2014

    Property rights under assault

    Vermonters should be aware that changes to the state’s Act 250 allow property owners to build projects that encroach on a neighbor’s property and the neighbor has no options to stop that encroachment. Their property rights do not count.

    We found out about this when our neighbor decided to install a new septic system right next to our property line. A lot of the isolation area for this septic tank spills over onto our property and almost up to our front door.

    According to the law, we cannot stop this intrusion onto our property. Attorneys around the state have been debating how to approach this obvious violation of property rights.

    Article 9 of the Vermont Constitution states, “Every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property ...”

    I have been told by an attorney involved in this debate that this intrusion is a probable violation of both the Vermont and United States constitutions. However, a homeowner would have to have very deep pockets to stop such attacks on their constitutionally guaranteed property rights.

    Most homeowners do not have that kind of money, so the possible rape of their property rights will continue to be a threat in the state.

    It does make one wonder what other attacks on homeowners’ property rights are in store for us Vermonters.

    Our state legislators need to change this law to stop this assault on people’s property rights.

    Susan Alexander


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