Guest Column: Opinion vs. fact with beach access
May 12, 2014
I agree with guest columnist Arthur Schmauder ("IVGID board must rescind Ordinance 7 changes," May 8 Bonanza) that changes to IVGID Ordinance 7 should be rescinded.
But his arguments for that position perpetuate errors of fact that simply must be corrected if district property owners are to understand the truth and make knowledgeable decisions for themselves and their community.
Mr. Schmauder declares that a federal court "upheld Incline's deed restrictions and made expressly clear that Incline Village was entitled to restrict access to its facilities." That is dead wrong.
The validity of the 1968 deed restrictions was not an issue in the federal lawsuit lost by Frank Wright. When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals talked in generalities about what governmental entities can and cannot do with respect to land they own, it was unaware and uninformed by the lawyers in Mr. Wright's case that there were specific articulated legal restrictions on IVGID "to provide facilities for public recreation," making that Court's more general observations inapplicable.
Lawyers call judicial comments like that "Dicta" ("just talk" in Latin) because it has no value as precedent in State Court on matters of state law. Under our federal system, the states are given responsibility for their own governance, and Mr. Schmauder's belief that a federal court's musings about Nevada state law "expressly" ratified the 1968 deed restrictions is not correct.
It also disrespects the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada which is independently considering that very question even as we speak.
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Your commentator's assertion that "the changes would at least double the number of people with access to the beaches and all other recreational facilities" appears unsupported. The public already has full access to "all other recreational facilities," so he's really only talking about the beaches and his desire to keep out fellow IVGID property owners like me as well as those who already have access to IVGID's other recreational venues.
We need a big and robust and uninhibited public debate on the facts, the history and the 1965 law under which the beach properties were purchased three years later, because ignorance of the facts and the reckless propagation of opinions dressed up as fact do not a knowledgeable property owner make.
I have previously challenged the attorney for IVGID, Mr. Scott Brooke, to a public debate on these issues, but he apparently prefers to ignore such things. So I pledge to debate anyone of IVGID's choosing if the Bonanza would sponsor it, and my purpose frankly would be for the community (which means both Incline Village and Crystal Bay) to come together to educate themselves about the real facts so that they can resolve among themselves any perceived problems, whatever the Court may declare to be the law on a particular issue. I believe we can do that.
Steven Kroll is a Crystal Bay resident whose lawsuit against IVGID regarding beach access is before the Nevada Supreme Court. Learn more by visiting http://www.tahoedailytribune.com, keyword "Steven Kroll."