Letter to the Editor

When is your property, your property?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

To the editor:

We have lived in Brazil for over 22 years. We own the largest piece of privately owned property in the city limits which consists of 5-1/2 acres. It is heavily wooded. Until recently I have always felt that since we pay the taxes, upkeep and insurance on this property, we are entitled to use it in any way that we see fit.

My husband and I recently gave one of our neighbors permission to ride his 4 wheeler in our woods. We have had problems with 4 wheelers before riding on part of our land that is grass covered and thus these vehicles were destroying our ground. The young man who asked for permission to ride in our woods had pledged to do so without destroying anything and respect our property. We gladly gave him permission since he

came to our home and ask for the privilege before setting foot in the woods.

Now comes the part that upset me. A neighbor came to our door and complained about the 4 wheeler. He didn’t complain about noise or anything that was tangible but said he didn’t like someone riding on our property. He also said it disrupted wild life.

Now my question is simple, previously another young man had ridden his 4 wheeler in our woods and not a peep from this neighbor. Is this not our property? Can we not allow friends to use it as we see fit as long as it doesn’t disturbed anyone? I wonder where this neighbor was when 4 wheelers were riding all over our grass and being a nuisance to us. I wouldn’t dream of going to this neighbor’s house and complaining about something he was doing on his property.

I guess the final question is simple... when does your property become your property? We want to be good neighbors to everyone in our block but there comes a point when you should be able to do with your property as you see fit. The young man who ask so politely for permission to ride in our woods still has our permission. If the neighbor who complained about it has a valid reason (noise) we will consider his opinion. However, the ground belongs to us. If the neighbor who complained wants to help pay the taxes, upkeep and insurance on our ground, we will take his complaint seriously.

Shirley A. Thomas, Brazil