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Adverse Possession Adversity

Note: The author is a resident of the El Conquistador condo community in Louisville, Ky. Her views are her own and do not represent anyone else at El Conquistador, Casa Granada, or Planet Earth.

The lawsuit filed last month by El Conquistador Condos against Bayside Properties, LLC makes a claim of “adverse possession” of a portion of the 1.43-acre parcel at 3000 Breckenridge Lane.

Often, the concept of adverse possession is shorthanded as “squatters’ rights.” This writer’s non-legal, and pedestrian explanation follows: If an individual or group maintains a piece of property for several years without complaint from the actual owner of the land, the argument could be made that the land legally belongs to the individual or group.

Many years ago, El Conquistador leased the building and property at 3000 Breckenridge Lane as a clubhouse and swimming pool, but the developer eventually sold the land, and over the years, the building was rented out as offices for various professional services such as attorneys, dentists, chiropractors, etc. Other than no longer having a clubhouse and swimming pool, nothing much changed for El Conquistador residents.

It is only now that residents are learning that the boundaries of the parcel drawn up so many years ago include a much bigger chunk than they likely imagined.

For decades, residents of El Conquistador have paid for the maintenance and improvement of the strip of property that constitutes the border of the condo community and the office building. With the complete knowledge and tacit approval of owners past and present, ECC has resurfaced the thoroughfare, installed speed bumps, striped parking spaces, and landscaped the parcel.

Now, Bayside wants to sell the whole enchilada to a high-volume car wash likely capable of processing more than a dozen cars each hour, and open for 12-13 hours daily and seven days a week. The location is smack dab between El Conquistador, and another senior living community, Casa Granada.

Lost in that enchilada will be several parking spaces and landscaping for El Conquistador, expanding the thoroughfare of El Conquistador Place to within seven feet of one of four entrances to ECC’s Building Two. Yes, seven feet. There are basketball players taller than that. In the photo below from Bayside’s website, Building Two runs parallel to Breckenridge Lane. The structure with the star is the proposed location of the car wash’s office. For reference, the parking lot across Breckenridge Lane in the upper righthand corner is in front of the McMahan Plaza Kroger. At bottom right is one of Casa Granada’s buildings.

Whether El Conquistador’s attorney succeeds in court, is the question of the community’s maintenance of the property really a question at all? The photo under the headline at top, and the images shared below reveal clearly how ECC is using the property, and how well it has been maintained. In marked contrast is the almost complete lack of maintenance by Bayside of 3000 Breckenridge Lane, which has created an eyesore for condo residents for many years.

A former ECC board member said the condo contacted Bayside to invite the realtor to piggyback on the annual resurfacing project in order to save time, money, and inconvenience to all involved. Bayside declined, and opted to continue doing essentially nothing to maintain what it considers the portion of the property for which it is responsible.

It’s pretty obvious where ECC’s care ends and Bayside’s begins:

Here’s a visitor handicapped parking spot that Bayside alleges to maintain:

Bonus eyesores for ECC residents include a stand-alone carport, three junk vehicles complete with towering weeds and flat tires, and a boat that definitely has seen better days.

Some will argue that Bayside and previous owners have been benevolent for all these years, allowing ECC to use the property for parking and landscaping. It’s a fair point until you figure that, with all the money ECC has spent, residents likely have paid for the property itself a few times over.

Another argument is that Bayside’s lack of maintenance of 3000 Breckenridge Lane is a point in favor of selling, but that argument falls as flat as the tires on the boat trailer. If polled, residents likely would opt to live with the junk cars and weeds compared to a noisy car wash that will divert a portion of the 30,000 cars that travel Hikes Point daily onto a thoroughfare that was never designed to handle such numbers.

The lawsuit is in the hands of ECC’s board, and now, Jefferson Circuit Court, but residents are hoping to generate support for their cause with these efforts:

  • An online petition that explains the issues in more detail.
  • A Facebook page (Hikes Point Wipe Out the Wash) to share facts and encourage others to share to their Facebook pages in order to build awareness.
  • We’re also on Twitter as @wipeoutwash, and are using the hashtag #wipeoutthewash.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Dannah K. “Dannie” Prather lives in Louisville and is a freelance writer and part-time dog walker (Rover.com)

 

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