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lawyerly demands
The following communication is largely self-explanatory, but worthy of commentary, none the less. I'm even tempted to say, "I told you so."  This is, however, another one of those cases where I'd rather be wrong than right.
     Re:   Fiddler Point Subdivision
Dear Mr. & Mrs.......:

      This law firm has been retained by Fiddler Point Homeowner's Association with respect to your plans for the use of the marsh-front lot that you own immediately north of the Fiddler Lane common area.

      In that regard, we have searched the relevant title records, and I am enclosing copies of two plats for your review. As you will see, the plats contain the following note:

      Owners of Ringeling property have egress and ingress rights and may tie on to the private water and sewer system of the subdivision available on this parcel (the Fiddler Point subdivision common area). (emphasis added)

      Based on a newspaper article in the Georgia Times Union on December 23, 2012, we understand that you desire to allow your property to be used in a manner consistent with a "public park." While this is a laudable goal, this type of public and unrestricted access across the common area of Fiddler Point is not consistent with the individual access rights that you, as the "owner" of the Ringeling property have to your property.

     In addition, Glynn County zoning records indicate that the upland portion of your property is zoned R-12. This zoning designation is not consistent with the "public" use that you proposed.

      Accordingly, on behalf of the Fiddler Point Homeowner's Association, we are requesting that you stop any efforts to use your property as a public park, including the removal of any signage indicating that the property is open to use by the public. Please acknowledge that you understand the requests set forth in this letter. My clients' strong desire is to resolve these issues without the need for litigation, but we are prepared to enforce these matters in court if necessary.

     Thank you in advance for your consideration of this letter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

                                     Sincerely yours,

                                     (signed)
                                     Mark D. Johnson

There are many points to be made in response to this communication:

1)  "Private property" is not what it seems to be.  Increasingly, it has become a euphemism for the exclusionary practices that were common during the era of legal residential discrimination and segregation.

2)  "Public" on the other hand, has become a dysphemism or, what we might more commonly call a "dirty word." If it is no longer correct to be antagonistic towards certain individuals or groups, let's be antagonistic to everyone. The public has become enemy number one.

3)  Property rights are a sop and a subterfuge to disguise that individual human rights (the right to perambulate, for one) are to be disregarded and dismissed with impunity.

4)  The "exceptionalism," which many a prospective public servant is eager to tout, is a euphemism to disguise that the United States have always been about making exceptions and setting up exclusions.  It was there at the beginning in the Constitution where "all men are created equal," except for the ones that were kidnapped and sold to be property. Those men and women and children weren't even whole persons because they were property and they were excepted from the minimal rights all other men supposedly had.

5)  The attitude asserted on behalf of the three homeowners, two of whom acquired their property in the last three months, could well be described as insubordinate since, in fact, this little subdivision was carved off a forty acre tract originally purchased by Ringeling's wife. But then, that's pretty common in NIMBY world.

6)  That the lands in question have been accessed by people in the neighborhood for at least fifty years, in many cases as a convenient place to dump their trash, is obviously of no interest to people who take public garbage collection for granted and expect the yardman to haul out whatever he can't blow into the common area and the marsh.

7)  Sharing is not appreciated by people convinced that they are defined by what they own.  If their ownership isn't exclusive -- i.e. doesn't preclude others from use -- then they feel themselves diminished. Generosity is an insult to greed and the greedy are rightly distressed at the prospect of others sharing.
It was, by the way, a major issue with Occupy Wall Street. People giving food away were sticking a finger in the eyes of people whose operational impulse is "No Free Lunch." Weren't Adam and Eve expelled from the garden and sentenced to hard labor, if they wanted to survive?  To feed the multitudes is to blaspheme.

Seven is a goodly number.

sunrise
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Comment Preferences

  •  Sharers offend owners. (41+ / 0-)

    Ownership is, ipso facto, exclusive. That's why it appeals to segregationists. The very notion that ownership of land, in particular, comes with an obligation to share is offensive to the owner's sensibilities.
    But, when people have been persuaded to cede all their human rights in exchange for the right to own something (or someone) else, they have a right to be insensed at the prospect of having to share. And they don't much like having the importance of ownership challenged, either.
    If it makes them unfriendly, that's understandable. People, who just paid six hundred thousand dollars for a house with a view, aren't likely to be pleased that others get to enjoy the same view for free.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:31:51 AM PST

  •  The same pooppooers (11+ / 0-)

    Think I'm lazy because I'm not obviously disabled.

    It was, by the way, a major issue with Occupy Wall Street. People giving food away were sticking a finger in the eyes of people whose operational impulse is "No Free Lunch." Weren't Adam and Eve expelled from the garden and sentenced to hard labor, if they wanted to survive?  To feed the multitudes is to blaspheme.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:54:48 AM PST

    •  Some people have nothing but their (13+ / 0-)

      superficial optics to rely on.
      "What they see is what they get." What they don't see, they don't "get."
      IMHO they suffer from a sensory deficit. Just as people don't notice that they'd lost their sense of smell, until they get it back (it happens a lot to elderly people), they don't realize that they are "out of touch" or that, perhaps, their temperature sensors are out of whack. Some people are always "too hot" and some people are always "too cold." Climate control makes it possible to adjust their environment so they are no longer bothered by the feeling of excess.
      Note the assumptions in that last sentence. The climate is something to be controlled and adjusted with a knob. Indeed, the environment is something that is properly controlled. That the environment is to be "protected" is a new-fangled idea, perpetrated by people who care more about trees than people.
      There is no point in arguing with people who are convinced that Mother Nature is man's toilet, the proper repository for his waste. "Stick it in a hole and forget about it."

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:20:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The funny part is, you see how I react to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, wader, debedb

        people in this format.

        How do you think I react to people in the stressful environment of the busy downtown I live in?

        I literally have to leave places like the bus or stores because my reactions are so extreme I know I will be arrested if I voice them.

        Yet my mental state is not sufficient disability?

        I just consider them absolutely clueless.

        "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:20:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If people are to be generous, somebody has (4+ / 0-)

          to be willing to accept gifts. "It is better to give than to receive," because being a recipient is hard. We do not appreciate the recipients of our benificense enough.
          If there is no-one to take and eat our surplus, it will all go to waste (rodents, rot, rust, mold). That means whatever effort we put into creating, producing and distributing goods is for naught.
          Society is an AC, not a DC, system. We alternate: daily, yearly, over a lifetime. Of course, that perception is only available to people with a linear sense of time and the ability to perceive reciprocal/alternating action. Many of our ball games teach taking turns. Some sports teach destruction, but on a temporary basis. "Creative destruction" is a notion invented by people who don't know how to create and just hope someone will come along to fix what they break.
          Anyway, the core is volition. It makes all the difference whether an organism is willing or coerced.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:33:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Someone once wrote: (19+ / 0-)
    The wealthy rancher waved his hand, pointing horizon to horizon, saying, "I own all this land you can see."

    While the billion year old mountains laughed down at him.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:02:47 AM PST

  •  What if you had a party? (12+ / 0-)

    Then you could invite everybody and anybody that you wanted, right? What if the party never ended? Jes sayin'.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:23:59 AM PST

    •  I think intimidation is second nature to some (7+ / 0-)

      people. The lawyer wants to get paid, so he had to do something.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:31:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm reminded of a story the spouse tells (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney, greengemini, debedb

      about his first post-graduate teaching job in Alabama or Louisiana where he was told he'd have to take an oath and promise not to invite any black people to the campus. He refused and took a job somewhere else.
      Nowadays, the decision-makers want to regulate who visits anywhere. Children are banned from housing for the elderly. Grandparents are banned from having their own kitchens in single family housing. Chickens are banned from suburban gardens. Weeds are banned from suburban front lawns.
      I have some sympathy for people who don't want their guns to be banned. But, while they are worried about tools that shoot to kill, all they human rights are disappearing under the covers of the rule of law. Bill Maher's got a point.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:04:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Existence of a "Commons" (13+ / 0-)

    Dilutes the value of privately-held property.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:33:37 AM PST

    •  I find this interesting (12+ / 0-)

      because every real estate listing has parks, other amenities, and schools (all "commons," I believe) prominently noted.  They are selling points until after the sale, I guess.  

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:41:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you can share the commons with fewer people... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, nchristine, Egalitare, greengemini

      ... then the value goes up.  Fewer people taking firewood from the forest around the village means more for those who do use it as their resource.  In modern terms, if you can gate off the park, swimming pool, community center, etc. you have kept the "commons" for yourself and your exclusive neighbors.  These private/public spaces are intended to share, but only with the "right" people.  After all, they don't want anything to wash off in the pool, like skin color or something.  It might be catching.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by Jim Tietz on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:49:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but these "exclusive" commons (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim Tietz, greengemini

        are sustained from the public purse.  In this particular instance, although the original plan was to have a private sewer and water system, they actually extended the public main and hooked into the public sewer, the garbage truck comes into the private drive and so does the U.S. mail.
        Perhaps when the pavement has to be replaced, the homeowners will spring for that. In other parts of the country, when subdivisions aren't built to public standards and rely on private utility services, the larger community provides no services, until wells get polluted and septic systems fail and then something has to be done in the name of public health. It's very wasteful of natural resources to demand that houses be built on lots that are large enough so the septic fields can be moved around. Some people think large lots preserve the forest canopy, but when new leach fields have to be installed, everything gets cleared and is kept clear, lest roots get into the lines.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:15:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lots of degrees of exclusivity (0+ / 0-)

          Sounds like your situation is very complex -- a perfect medium in which the lawyers can perform their thievery on behalf of their grasping clients.

          Good luck with your fight!

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

          by Jim Tietz on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:58:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said at the beginning that sharers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jim Tietz, greengemini

            offend owners. I did the research before hand and intended to contest the prevailing attitude.
            Also, there's the previous owner for whom an injustice needs to be avenged. She was cheated out of her dream of a little house on the marsh.

            We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

            by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:12:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  When I was 14 years old (18+ / 0-)

    I organized my classmates to save a park near our school in Houston, Texas. We had just moved there from the country in New England and open spaces were important to me. I figured city kids should have them too. We got on the City Council agenda, and I spoke in favor of the city saving the park from private development. The Council was so nonplussed by this that they voted right there to save to the park.

    If I did this today, they'd call me a Communist, or worse.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:47:45 AM PST

    •  Early success is intoxicating. (15+ / 0-)

      I saved a whole prairie from development by insisting that a new city manager go see with his own eyes what he was proposing to sell to developers because the city, which had acquired the acreage for a dump, didn't need it, after all.  Never mind that a prairie full of hundred year old oak trees, sitting over an acquifer, wasn't suitable for a dump in the first place.
      Letting municipalities acquire land cheap is a good holding category for later development.  It relieves landowners of liabilities and taxes, even as it elevates the value of now more scarce adjacent developable lands. To a large extent, that's the racket being employed by the Nature Conservancy and various Conservation Trusts. What they're preserving and enhancing are land values.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:57:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cf. Tree that owns itself (6+ / 0-)

    In Clarke County, GA, the City of Athens, there is a local landmark on Hull Street. It is the tree that owns itself.

    The city was paving the streets, and thus were widening, but one property owner loved this tree he had in his front yard and did not want the city to knock it down. He knew that his children would sell to the city, or at least stop fighting, and so, before he died, he re-parceled his lot and left his house and land to his children, but the plot of land the tree occupied and all soil in an 8' radius of the tree he left to the tree itself.

    The tree was thus manumitted.

    It cannot be sold without its own permission.

    Now, I assume that the town could have knocked it over and waited for its acorns to seek redress, but they respected the novelty of the move, at least. Hull Street is still cobble stone after the tree.

    Now, I suspect that the lawyers involved are full o' lard, as you at least have a right to see where "private" means "excluding grubby unwashed." After all, how many people does it take to be "public?"

    How many visitors? Is a party next door a public park, because they rented the joint and didn't send out invites?

    This seems. . . really weird.

    People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

    by The Geogre on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:40:58 AM PST

    •  The lawyer is stretching to earn his fee. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre, freerad

      He's working for a firm that identifies itself as being made up of "corporate lawyers." One suspects that billable hours are shrinking in a state that had more bank failures than any other.
      There are three houses. Two have been bought in the last three months: one by a golf pro and the other by a manager at a chemical plant. The third house seems to be a vacation house for the family of a doctor who surprised everyone by committing suicide. For that matter, the oldest house, built in 1990 was on the market for a very long time because the elderly previous owners got stuck in the elevator on their way up to bed and died of heat exposure because the elevator was on the sunny side of the house.

      No gilt by association to be had here, but the new owners probably don't know that.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:09:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  in my neck o the woods, one guy wants (6+ / 0-)

    Mooring$

    http://www.myeasternshoremd.com/...

    Many people at the hearing brought up the point that he doesn't own the water and the state owns the bottom.

    Others pointed out that, when he first bought this waterfront parcel (which I think is leased to a farmer and used to hunt geese) he was unhappy with moorings that had been there for many years and pursued a long court case to have them eliminated.

    Which he won.

    Now, he wants to lease moorings to a marina owning buddy.

    It's always flavored with selfishness of one sort or another, isn't it?

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:16:01 AM PST

    •  Yes, it sometimes seems our laws are used (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freerad, melo, Jim Tietz, greengemini

      more to deprive than to provide justice.

      The commons wasn't parcelled out to cronies by happenstance. I was surprised that "The Tragedy of the Commons" was only published in the 60s. In any event, the argument that individual ownership would result in better use and care for the environment has proved a pipe dream. If ownership were careful, the land wouldn't be littered with abandoned mines, factories, warves, commercial sites, houses and all sorts of polluted and wasted lands.
      Self-interest might be effective, IF people knew whereing their self-interest lies and IF everyone were capable of looking ahead. People who exist in an ineffable present are able to do neither.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:25:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  hannah (0+ / 0-)

    There are avenues to make this "park" and some of it depends upon size.

    What's the parcel acreage that you'd like to make into "parklands"?

    I'll look for your reply and then suggest an avenue.

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