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Country Discussion Topics
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Land butchers
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Sned    Posted 02-24-2002 at 22:15:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Has anyone here seen first hand what these land butchers are doing to the old farms around the country side? They lurk around waiting for an elderly couple who are ready to sell out then pounce, split it all up into five acre tracts then sell to anyone with the jack. Here in south east Ohio a lot of our once beautiful farm land is being replaced with shacks, campers, stray dogs are running etc etc. We have a lot of guys who will bring a grove of buddies down from Cleveland or Columbus to deer hunt and just cut a swath through where ever they want and when confronted, say, OH-we thought we were on so&so's land (who just owns five acres a mile away). Is there ANYTHING that can be done about this?
Everyone in these parts are fed up with it but as far as I know nothing is being done, I really don't think anything CAN be done. Any thoughts?

Judi    Posted 02-26-2002 at 19:46:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
It saddens me to see so many replies that nothing can be done. I live in a rural portion of eastern PA that has more than it's share of land butchers. I am sure that this hopeless feeling has been and still is prevelant here too. There is no fast and easy answer, but doing nothing is a sure bet for disaster, both in the loss of open land and greater environmental issues.

After seeing what has been done to our surrounding counties and even to our own, we are now pushing for various land conservation options, mostly through tax incentives and selling developmental rights. While some are claiming success -- in reality we need much more land set aside each year for conservation to make a significant impact.

The townships are making it tough to develop even when it is permitted by zoning. Environmental issues seem to be playing a big factor. I'm not sure what kind of major effect this is having. We have building on individual lots but no planned communities or subdivisions like I see south of us.

I am in real estate (resale) and get a lot of inquires on lots. You know, where one can build a their dream home. I have yet to sell a lot -- most get turned off by all the hassle they have to go through (or maybe I'm just a bad lot salesperson:-)).

We do have zoning that forbids new mobile homes to be put on property (one can replace an existing one). It is surprising how many people think they can come in and just plop one down.

In regards to hunting and tresspassing. I know of one family who made frequent calls to the game warden the first few years they had problems, by the third year the problem was resolved. They'd have a few people drive by and ask, but respected their answer of no. I also know of people who selectively let responsible hunters on the property and that helps eliminate the riff-raff.


Carol from TX    Posted 02-26-2002 at 16:40:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I guess you could say we're on the other side of this issue, in a way. Our land used to be part of a larger ranch that has been divided into smaller portions -- some as large as a couple hundred acres, some as small as twenty. We have forty. (Aside: the yuppie couple who bought next door asked why we got forty acres (2 tracts) and we told him it was because we couldn't afford 60! He didn't get it.) On the plus side, the new owners are treating the land well, most of us are running a few cattle to keep the tax exemption, and it doesn't seem to be ruining the looks of the place. The larger properties are
working ranches, not weekend places -- raising horses or cattle or Llamas! I hope to be able to pass this land on to my grandchildren some day.

Larry    Posted 02-26-2002 at 09:44:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]

About the only thing that would stop this is if or when the economy takes a dump.That would keep the Yuppies from spending money on new homes in te country. Another thing that would help is a stronger farm economy. If Farmers were able to make a living on the farm and not be forced to sell out to the highest bidder,then the sale of land to outsiders would slow down,or maybe stop all together. Either way someone will have to lose and a few may win. Never an easy answer to these problems.

Alvin-Va    Posted 02-25-2002 at 19:48:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
About the same here,possibly worse.Has been going on for 15-20 years,too late to turn it around now.People moving from the cities to 'get away from it all'bringing all of it with them.
They flock here for the unspoiled beauty and low taxes.They immediatly start b*tching about the lack of services"where we came from they picked the garbage up from behind the house,now we have to drive two miles to the dump site",etc.The County is spending money like a drunk sailor with a new credit card,debt piling up,low taxes are going to be a thing of the past.
Unspoiled beauty?Cell towers everywhere,constant complaining about lack of entertainment,places to shop and dine.Read that as,we need more malls,golf courses,etc.
Zoning?Words written on paper,if they can be written,they can be changed and bypassed.The zoning board is packed with people who equate growth with progress,if you are in the clique,you can develop it.
The pattern is the same as Sned describes,buy it,split it,develop it,force the next farmer out and repeat the procedure.One additional twist on the rape of the land is the development of the mountains.This involves destroying acres and acres of forest to build roads and building sites,dirt and silt washing down mountainsides,all so people can move out of the city and enjoy the great views.These same people then ride their monstrous SUVS down to the planing commision meetings and decry the fact that some farmers cow crapped near a creek or that someone else wants to cut yet another road near their shangri-la.
The day of reckoning is just around the corner for all this good,cheap,country living here.The reason? Water,or rather the lack of it.For years some of us old fogeys have been saying we were getting in deep du-du on the water issue,everyone just laughed it off and kept'developing'.Even before the drought,the depth of wells was increasing,in 10 years the average depth has gone from 200 ft. to 400 ft,if you can find water at all.
Sorry if this seems critical,just telling it like it is.

Wingnut    Posted 02-25-2002 at 19:18:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It makes me sad that land gets sold off, too. But everything changes and there's nothing we can do about it. We can try to enact codes and laws to make the changes a little more liveable, but unless you have Bill Gates' money or are willing to enact laws so stringent that they take away a bunch of YOUR rights with them, things are still going to change. I agree that it's incredibly sad and I also hate the vultures out there who just rape the land, taking as much out of it as they can at any cost, then move on. But such is life. Plant a bunch of trees around the perimeter of your property, buy a BIG-mean-ugly dog, and let all the newcomers think you're "eccentric."

My siblings were bound and determined to sell their shares of the family's 540 acre ranch. I tried and tried everything I could, but couldn't buy them out. I atleast convinced them that since I would be left living here, to atleast sell to someone I approved. I offered to help with the sales ~ since they didn't live here, that was a plus in getting them to agree. I thought I chose well, picking people who wanted large acreage to run cattle on, avoiding butchers who just wanted to make a fast buck. But you never know...

...which brings me to my tresspassing story and solution. One guy actually built a GATE in his fenceline that borders my property, right near a power company easement. He seemed to think that the power company's easement was a public one, despite the papers I showed him to the contrary. I tried barricading his gate, but he pulled my posts up and then lied about doing it. I thought, fine ~ I don't have time to play these stupid games. I conveniently "misplaced" my harrow, the sharpest, pointiest, lowest-to-the-ground one I had, in some loose hay that "happened" to have been thrown on my side of the gate. A week later, I found the harrow by the side of the gate with a few bent tines. I replace my posts in front of the gate and haven't had a problem since. Even without the new posts, I really didn't think I would have had another problem. ;-)

tomatolord    Posted 02-25-2002 at 18:30:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Here in NC there is a non profit land conservation trust, that buys up property for public use...dont know if they have one there or not, but the idea is that if the land is all bought up for tract housing it will suck...

Its a pretty good win win - the owners get $$$ and some of a write off.

As for the others I would make good use of a digital camera and take pictures of the offenders for evidence first

Then start calling the sherriff I had a farmer friend who a few years back all he did was pull his coat back and the trespasser saw his 45 in his holster - the guy ran off and got the state trooper who then hassled the farmer saying he threatened the guy - now he just calls it in.

But get photos and call it in.

8NTX    Posted 02-25-2002 at 13:39:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Unfortunately, little can be done about the developers coming in and subdividing unless the local government passes a law preventing it. If it lies in the county outside of an incorporated city limits, it probably won't happen. There are lots of people who make a living doing this and they have their rights too, but I agree it is a shame. About hunters and trespassers, I have posted about 20 signs around my land saying "No Hunting, No Trespassing", etc. The hunting seems to have stopped, but I haven't slowed down the trespassing kids on their 4-wheelers and dirt bikes. They come through my place using a pipeline easement that is almost impossible to guard against. I can't fence it off, and people think it's public property even with the signs. I plan on meeting them with a shotgun in my hands next weekend, since they do this on Saturdays. Put some fear into their little dirt-biking hearts. If they think I'm crazy, it might help.

Sned    Posted 02-25-2002 at 22:09:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
I guess this problem is not only state wide but global too. I am certainly not an advocate for zoning, there was a township almost torn in to do to zoning here a few years back. It is ludicrous to tell someone he can't fart in his back yard.

It is one thing to say we are going to zone against campers and shacks but it doesn't stop there. Someone will always throw an amendment like no campers in anyone's driveway and from there it just keeps branching out, before long the entire township is at war. Then we are prisoners of our own demise.

8NTX, I work for a Gas transmission co. and can tell you that we don't like 4-wheelers on our R.O.W.'s anymore than you do. Talk to them about fencing and a gate. There's a good chance they will even supply the material.

Thank you all for your thoughts on this matter, I plan to start attending our local township meetings to see what we as a comunity can do about this. My hope is that the tax implications will become more recognized.

Dennis    Posted 02-25-2002 at 13:08:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Has anyone heard of overpopulation? If there isn't a market for these houses and subdivisions
they will not get built.
Spread the word, maybe there will be farms, woods, and lakes for your grandchildren if people stop having so many children.

Coaltrain    Posted 02-25-2002 at 12:22:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Man I could write a book on this subject! Ever been run off{attempted} your own land by some dude that stated this land does't belong to anybody it's vacant and try to explain to him it is your hay meadow not a 4wheeler play ground. I could go on and on neokla is going down hill fast I have never seen so much trash and debri. Greety people buying spliting it up taking down payments hoping they get back and they are. I better shut up now just venting Coaltrain

Spence    Posted 02-25-2002 at 12:19:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
In most of Canada, since the seventies it is
required to get county permission to sever properties for developement. The law came in effect because of what you describe. It was discovered that good tillage soil was going under the dozer. Lands that have been zoned farming and
have been used for that for years are less likely to get severing permission. Marginal land has a better chance.
A zonage,soil and site study is done and then
the land is split in segments usually higher than a acre. That's because they found out that well pollution occurs after 20 to 30 years for homes that have an acre with well and septic.

Denise    Posted 02-25-2002 at 06:42:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
That what happens when they sell to the highest bidder - developers.
We just saw a horrific example here in NC:
In May of 2000 we stayed at Lake JAmes State Park.
We took plenty of pics looking across the lake, beautiful shoreline opposite with old forest owned since the lake was dammed by Duke Power. Mountains in the backround - a pristine place to visit....
This past week we stopping in for a hike. We were shocked to see the changes.
The forest is gone, they are packing in houses as tight as they can, and all the motor boats have already started deteriorating the shoreline.
Very Sad. We spoke with the ranger, they felt it was a direct result of no state funds in the last 2 - 3 years to stop it.

DJ    Posted 02-25-2002 at 05:22:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
This stuff ticks me off too.

We aren't farmers but we want the area we bought into to remain the way it is. So we bought near a corp of engineer lake and a wild life reserve. It's my hopes that the land will not be molested with rezoning and subdivisions.

I hope I've had the right idea.

kraig WY    Posted 02-25-2002 at 05:16:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wyoming has a law that if your hunting on someone's land you have to have, in possision written permission. On private land, you either own the land, have the written permission or get a hefty ticket. See about getting a simular law passed. Don't want no zoning of any kind. If I want to raise pigs, fine, if I want to set on the back porch and shoot I can. My land, I should be the only on who has the say of what goes on.

PCC-AL    Posted 02-25-2002 at 04:21:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
A problem we have in the South is the large paper companies. When they buy a tract of land you can just forget it because it is gone forever. They will plant trees, of course, but no individual will ever own an inch of it again. I do admit that I would rather have trees than trailer parks. No good answer on this problem.
We also have the deer hunter problem. We do have some good and responsible hunters, but we have some bad ones too. I found that the best way to keep the unwanted hunters out is to lease hunting rights to an individual or small group of responisble hunters. Not perfect solution, but better than getting run over, burned out or shot. Good luck.

Tom A    Posted 02-25-2002 at 04:13:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'll take that one farther, and probably tick a lot of folks here off while I'm doing it. The problem is not entirely with the developers.

Farm next door to me is an example...the old folks never sold out. 120 acres, 100 year old house, barn, outbuildings, nice fields. They held onto their farm and died on it. The farm passed to some distant relatives who live in the suburbs 30 minutes down the road; I don't think they'd ever been to the farm.

The new owners put it up for sale immediately, asking about 3 times what the local rate for a farm was. It stayed on the market for several years, but I guess they didn't care: they had little investment in it, and the taxes on the farm, to city folks who found somebody to lease it, were tiny. Finally, the developers discovered it and bought it for the asking price. They've divided it up into lots and are building houses on these new 'farm lots.' So the owners up the road got their big bucks, drove up the price of farms well beyond the reach of anybody wanting to get into farming, and the developers are off searching for more greedy absentee owners.

I believe ownwers have the right to do what they want with their property. BUT, it hacks me off that some greedy folks abuse their responsibility to the land for the almighty buck. Not sure there is a solution, love to hear it if there is.


Salmoneye    Posted 02-25-2002 at 03:26:56       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It is called 'zoning'.
And make darn sure you really want it before you let the politicians 'give' it to you.
It will seriously undermine whatever rights you have left as a landowner.

If they pass a law that says you can not sell less than 10 acre plots, and you want to give your kid 5 for a trailer...forget it...

Welcome to Vermont...

Ira    Posted 02-25-2002 at 03:30:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
And that is part of the reason that I don't live there any more

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