During Monday's meeting of the Clay County Commissioners, several residents of the Barrows First Edition subdivision, represented by Attorney Jim Deal, presented a petition to close Center Street.
However, the petition was disputed by James D. Butt, who was represented by Attorney Charles Hear.
Butt owns property contiguous to the subdivision and, although he is not yet living on the land, he was planning to put up cabins for hunters and fishermen to rent along the lake that is part of the land.
Hear argued that if the road were to be closed that Butt would not have access to his property and it would drastically diminish the value of the property.
Deal said the residents were offering a 15x75 foot easement for additional access as part of the petition, of which Butt was not interested in having.
Hear pointed out that there is a secondary access to the property along Elm Street, but the land available was only about five feet in length and that Butt would have to boat across the lake in order to reach the rest of his land.
He also quoted numerous Indiana Codes stating that the road needs to exist for contiguous landholders to have access to their property.
In previous disputes similar to this one, the road has been split in order to allow a right-of-way to be maintained.
The commissioners discussed the issue at length but were cautious about having a hunting area so close to residential property.
"I wouldn't want someone shooting off shotguns 50 feet from my house," Commissioners' President Charlie Brown said. "There is more to this than just yes or no, and with a lot of personalities and issues surrounding this, we shouldn't be the judge of this situation."
It was also brought up that the area is also subject to the zoning laws of Center Point.
The commissioners decided to take the matter under the advisement of legal counsel Eric Somheil in which the two attorneys will meet in an effort to find a plausible solution for all parties involved.
In an unrelated manner, the commissioners approved a petition to close Bono Street in Cory. The petition had no disputes and the road was closed because it is not used.
Due to the Labor Day holiday, the next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 9 a.m., in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.