Monday, November 19, 2007

Property right wrongly taken

I didn't think this was possible.

The story is so absurd, so unfair, so ludicrous, I had a difficult time believing that it could actually happen - even in Boulder.

It's about a couple named Don and Susie Kirlin. They moved to the city in 1980. A few years later, the Kirlins purchased a plot of land near their residence, hoping to someday build a "dream home."

"We took advantage of the market in the early '80s," says Susie Kirlin, almost apologetic for making a smart investment.

Children interfered slightly with the master plan - three of them in the next few years - postponing any development of the property.

As the children began to make their own way in life, the couple decided it was time to finally develop the property in late 2006.

By then, it was too late.

Despite owning the land, despite living only 200 yards from the property, despite hiking past it every week with their three dogs, despite spraying for weeds and fixing fences, despite paying homeowner association dues and property taxes each year, someone else had taken a shine to it. Someone powerful.

Former Boulder District Judge, Boulder Mayor, RTD board member - among other elected positions - Richard McLean and his wife, attorney Edith Stevens, used an arcane common law called "adverse possession" to claim the land for their own.

All McLean needed was to develop an

"attachment" to it. Read More.


Ray said...


This is the kind of thing that Congress and the Courts are suppose to protect the "middle class" from. Alas alack, all the talk about "the children" and "the middle class", seems to be just so much political rhetoric.

When will American realize that a fair majority of the polititicians are doing to them what the Judge in Boulder did to the Kirlins? They pontificate on their goodness and intention and then take advantage of you.

Ron Ballew said...

More than disgusting. I still have a hard time believing it.