Ramrodded by the city | AspenTimes.com

Ramrodded by the city

The city of Aspen’s counterfeit and fraudulent error has stood uncorrected for six decades. Aspen’s 1959, City Plat Survey, the current referenced bible, specifies that the East Cleveland Street boundary line for only block 34, abruptly jogs from a straight line, 7’ East. This re-specification of Cleveland Street width from 75’ to 82’ is contrary to what was recorded in 1890.

1959, City Engineer Buchanan resurveyed the town plat, defining new survey monuments. The result, the Cleveland Street boundary line moved 1.5’ into our 1880s Victorian living room and adverse possession claims telegraphed down block 34 in the 1980s.

Ostensibly, the city’s secret wasn’t flagged until now because no city plat has been published which would readily reveal this indent. The lot surveys were correct to the plat monuments. Map Aspen’s GIS overlays advent divulged that something was amiss. Map Aspen, dimensionally scaled photo, overlaid with GIS Cleveland Street boundary lines, comport positionally to the respective building footprints and survey, making the map photo a viable reference highlighting street width anomalies. The measured scale dimension width of this photo overlay between blocks 34 and 35, is 82’, between blocks 33 and 32, 75’.

Demonstrably, the city has stolen possibly 700 square feet of our property!

Over three years ago, we first spoke with Jim True, Aspen’s city attorney, regarding this issue. Jim was patently obtuse addressing our written complaints, as have been the council despite our numerous detailed exhibits and questions. We met finally with Jim, Mayor Torre, and CE Dannenberg on Feb. 6, 2020. The city ultimately would only entertain us paying for the property they stole from us. No deal!

“Mum’s the word” — there has not been one city response to us acknowledging or correcting this survey error. Three years of the city breaching their fiduciary duties, failing to address this “taking,” constitutes “wanton” nonfeasance.

Caroline and Scott McDonald


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