Walden Pond homeowners consider action after property damage
To the Marvin village council, it was an accident, a simple mistake that happens when two properties are side by side. To some homeowners in the Walden Pond subdivision, it’s property damage and reason to press charges. Over the last week while clearing brush, workers at the Marvin Efird Park went a bit over the boundary and trimmed 60 feet of plants and shrubs on land belonging to Walden Pond.
“They’ve done serious damage to our property,” Walden Pond homeowner Paul Schneider said. “What was there discouraged access to the pond.”
To fix the problem, Walden Pond homeowners asked that they get a formal letter of apology, along with money to repair the damage. They also informed the village that the Walden Pond Homeowners Association would be looking into filing criminal charges of trespassing and damage to personal property, which would be both misdemeanors. The association actually owns a portion of the land around the actual park, as well as the pond itself.
Marvin Mayor Pro Tem Ron Salimao said it was a simple case of someone not knowing the exact area where the boundary was.
“We’re trying to be above board and we’ve agreed to plant additional coverage to make up for what was lost,” Salimao said.
During the village’s Tuesday, Aug. 23 meeting, the council agreed to hire a surveyor to go out to the park and plant a stake in the ground, marking where Marvin’s property line ends.
Residents of Walden Pond have opposed Marvin’s forced annexation of their subdivision since 2008. A number of residents are petitioners in a lawsuit to stop the annexation, which is currently before the courts. Many of the same residents also opposed Marvin’s purchase of the 26 acre Efird property for a park in February. The partially wooded acreage borders the pond and splits the subdivision at New Town Road.
Salimao said the village would replant the areas themselves, rather than giving money to the HOA.
“Why would I give them money?” Salimao asked. “Somebody cut down bushes and we decided to replace them.”
He pointed out that while one side of Walden Pond was fighting the village, residents on the other side of the park had asked Marvin to cut down some of the trees near the property line, which the viallge agreed to do.
Schneider said at least, the homeowners’ association would file a police report, feeling that what type of bushes were replanted at the property wasn’t a decision for the village council.
“We did not want them to be the decision makers as to what gets planted,” Schneider said. “That was our property. Why does someone else get to decide what goes there?’