After many delays, a series of hearings about the proposed Penley Reservoir and Dam was scheduled with the Douglas County Commissioners, starting on June 27th. I went to a whole lot of trouble to attend that first meeting. I wanted to hear the developer’s presentation about the project, and I wanted to speak in defense of property rights. Much to my annoyance, the developer didn’t attend, but instead asked for a continuance. That’s odd, and I suspect that the project is somehow in limbo.
At this point, I don’t plan to attend any further meetings, but I did submit this letter to the Douglas County Commissioners about the project:
Dear Douglas County Commissioners,
My husband and I are residents of Indian Creek Ranch. We support the right of the owners of the Penley Ranch to develop their property. We support the building the proposed dams and reservoir, if that’s what the owners choose.
We support this project based on the principle of property rights. Property rights protect every person from undue interference in his affairs by others, including interference from neighbors and government. Property rights make civilized society and economic growth possible, including the development of much-needed water storage resources.
The owners of the Penley Ranch deserve to have their property rights respected and protected–just like everyone else. As far as we can see, the proposed project would not violate anyone’s rights by imposing an unreasonable risk of harm or nuisance on neighboring landowners. Our only concern is that the developers ought not be permitted to take land using eminent domain, as that would be a violation of property rights.
Of course, some of our neighbors are quite unhappy about the proposed project. But the Penley Ranch is the property of its owners, not of anyone in Indian Creek Ranch. To deny this project due to public pressure would be to violate the rights of the property owners–and that’s dangerous for all of us who value our homes and land.
Diana Hsieh, Ph.D
Sedalia, CO 80135