danniewriter

Confessions of a reluctant protestor

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.

There are several reasons I’ve never been much of a “joiner” when it comes to causes, no matter how worthy.

I tend to get too emotionally invested, which often interferes with good judgment. On many issues, I clearly see both sides. And, rather than considering the rightness/wrongness of an issue, I often ask myself how likely will a vocal opposition result in a positive change? Outrage for the sake of outrage, to me, is wasted energy. I dislike the sound of my own voice. I prefer to express my opinions at the ballot box or perhaps by writing a check.

When something hits close to home, naturally I take notice, but even then I try to be circumspect. Is this something to be fought, or something to be accepted?

Every once in a while, however, I run across something so clearly in opposition to respect and common sense that the outrage, and the organized opposition, comes quite easily.

The proposed Hikes Point SpeedWash at 3000 Breckenridge Lane in Louisville is a case in point.

It’s a sweet deal for a small group of people. Reportedly, it’s worth about $1.5 million for the current owner of the property. And, with an average daily traffic volume of more than 31,000 vehicles, it’s about low-hanging fruit for SpeedWash. The business model here touts bargain basement prices; exterior washes start at only $3/car, and self-serve vacuums are free. The only way SpeedWash makes a profit is to process as many cars as possible in the 12-13 hours it is open, seven days a week.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for people making money. Also, it would inject a few more low-paying jobs into the local economy. However, the list of pros is pretty short compared to the cons in store for hundreds of people profoundly affected by the project.

Full disclosure: I have a dog in this fight. I live at the El Conquistador Condominiums. If this car wash goes in, I’ll be looking at it out my front windows. The value of my financial investment will plummet.

But, unlike many of my older neighbors, I have options. I can sell out, cut my losses, and move elsewhere to lick my wounds. For many residents, the condos are the last homes they will ever have. For many, they invested a lifetime’s worth of savings and pensions into purchasing a home they thought would be a safe and pleasant place to live out their years. For many, they spend most of their time each day within the walls of their condos, making those homes incredibly important to their quality of life.

I daresay none of the residents moved in dreaming of the day that a high-volume car wash would be built across the parking lot, adding traffic, grit, heat, and unfathomable noise to their everyday lives.

This is very much a David and Goliath story. Many of my neighbors are ill, or so advanced in age, they don’t have much fight left in them. I’ve heard them express great concern even while struggling to sign their name to a petition. As I write this, my eyes well with tears. It’s just not fair, especially to them. Where is the protection for our elderly that our society claims to prize?

I’ve tried to get the attention of local media, and senior citizens advocacy agencies, but so far, few people outside Hikes Point, and the two condo communities, are aware of the project and its implications.

Maybe you can help us. First, I encourage you to read the petition, and the press release about a valid-but-still-Hail-Mary legal battle El Conquistador has undertaken. Here’s a layman’s explanation of the “adverse possession” question.

Get the facts and decide if you think it’s a battle worth undertaking, even if you don’t have a dog in the fight. If you do, help us by reaching out to:

If you are still reading at this point, thank you! That’s a win right there.

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

 

 

 

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)

 

Hikes Point Wipe Out the Wash

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOUISVILLE — A senior condo community has filed suit against a commercial realtor to reclaim property in a move residents hope will prevent the construction of a high-volume car wash in busy Hikes Point.

El Conquistador Condominium Association, Inc., filed suit in Jefferson Circuit Court Nov. 7 against Bayside Properties LLC of Louisville citing condo residents’ decades-long maintenance of a portion of the 1.43-acre parcel at 3000 Breckenridge Lane that Bayside wants to sell to SpeedWash Car Wash.

Casa Granada, another mostly-senior condo community, is located on the other side of the property in question.

Without a favorable ruling in the suit, some El Conquistador residents will find the driveway of the car wash about seven feet from their door. (See the photo above which highlights the boundaries of the parcel in red.) Additionally, several parking spaces and landscaping will be lost if the development proceeds.

Some El Conquistador residents have undertaken a petition to raise awareness of what they say is a safety, and quality-of-life, issue.

According to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet records, the average daily traffic rate for the area across the street from the McMahan Plaza Kroger, and many other businesses, is more than 31,000 vehicles. Diverting even a small percentage of that traffic onto El Conquistador Place is likely to make driving and parking more difficult for residents, increase the noise level exponentially, and could possibly interfere with first responders’ access to the condos.

Get more information on our Facebook page and also read the petition online.

MEDIA INQUIRIES: Contact Dannah Prather at 502-432-8725 or email hikespointwipeoutthewash@gmail.com

(Photo from Bayside Properties LLC website)