Riparian residential rights
This letter is for my fellow residents of River Meadows Mobile Home Park, particularly those of us with homes on the riverfront. We are facing the stark reality that not only could we lose our homes, but we could lose the right to ever again live on the riverfront.
In the event that our homes were washed away, even having flood insurance would not protect us from a FEMA order making the riverfront off-limits for residential units, as was the case in several districts of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Our interest is the same as that of the park ownership and management: to do everything possible to mitigate the potential effects of a flood. The mobile home park, which is working with the city of Glenwood Springs on a flood mitigation plan, has been asking residents to cooperate in clearing a 14-foot path along the riverbank on which to place instruments for flood protection.
While some residents have been highly cooperative, others have ignored notices on flood mitigation procedures. For some, the reason for noncompliance may simply be apathy to a dangerous degree; for others, issues like the widely publicized tree cutting may be at the root of a reluctance to comply.
Residents along the river have taken great pride in the exterior of their homes, and I greatly admire the effort and aesthetic they have poured into their yards. But the reality is that none of us own the land on which our homes stand. We have chosen to live on this majestic riverbank knowing that our ownership is only partial. Structures that now constitute obstacles to flood mitigation were placed without concern for flood protection.
Now the mobile home park is making decisions based on expert advice concerning land which it owns. We who own homes on Park land should do everything possible to protect not only these homes but our right to live on this riverbank, the proximity of which we greatly cherish.
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