Giving Ground Frustrated Landowner Willing To Donate Lake Property To State
The owner of “The Point” at Hauser Lake is offering to give the tip of the peninsula to the state for permanent public access.
“We’d just like to get it settled, because it’s been 3-1/2 years,” said Garth Everett.
Everett bought the land across the road from the popular fishing spot, and also paid for and received title to the entire point.
He and his family discovered later that their new lakefront was overrun with anglers who long have fished at the spot, along with people who parked RVs there, littered and more.
When Everett tried to erect a fence to keep people off the land three years ago, there was an outcry, and his fence was knocked down several times.
Then, the state suggested the lakefront at The Point might actually be fill material put in to extend a road, making it state land because it once was part of the lake.
Since then, Everett has filed suit against the state and tests have been conducted that have found no fill.
Rather than press on with the lawsuit, Everett told the state Land Board Tuesday he’d like to deed the most popular fishing area to the state, in exchange for recognition that the rest of the land is his. He also wants three dock permits, down from his earlier request for five, and he agrees not to build any new fences.
“It’s just been frustrating for it to continue on so long,” Everett said.
State Superintendent of Schools Anne Fox, a Land Board member, said she’s walked the lakefront there.
“This looks like a pretty darn fair adjustment,” Fox said, pointing to a map showing the offer.
“In court, it could turn out a good deal of that is Mr. Everett’s.”
Everett said he might even be willing to give up a little more ground, if that’s what it takes to get the matter settled.
He noted that other landowners around the lake have docks in place, some of which come directly off filled areas and some of which come off the road.
Gov. Phil Batt told Everett: “We really appreciate your attempts to solve this.”
The Land Board told Everett that since he and the state are in litigation, they wanted his attorney to present the offer, and then they might direct their attorneys to make a counter-offer.
“I’ll just do that and see what happens,” Everett said afterward.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: The Point