Road rage: MnDOT cuts off Oak Park Heights residents

  • Article by: Kevin Giles , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 13, 2013 - 11:16 PM

The agency closed an unsanctioned road in Oak Park Heights as part of St. Croix River bridge project.

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buckoMay. 14, 13 2:29 AM

"Van Dyke said he was stunned to discover, in addition to the barricades, that the agency has determined half of his back yard encroaches on state land." Easy answer here. Get a survey. A dollar says "Half his backyard" was never his backyard to begin with. His property's legal most likely confirms this.

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ErosmanMay. 14, 13 4:14 AM

Persons allegedly "unknown" built a neighborhood road on public property without asking and without approval. Now that sounds sneaky. Solve your problems appropriately and people will work with you. Sneak a road in on somebody else's property rather than working to fix your access, now that sounds like a crime - or at the least - bullying.

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georgina17May. 14, 13 5:28 AM

Agree. It sounds like Van Dyke has state land behind his house, as well as his back yard. It could be that his back yard is half as big as he thought. However, state land cannot be literally his land.

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smarterthanuMay. 14, 13 5:38 AM

Sounds like VanDyke owes us (the citizens of Minnesota) rent for the use of our land.

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supervon2May. 14, 13 6:08 AM

This reminds me of the hunters that I find in the woods of the farm-their excuse-they thought the land was abondoned! Gee. I guess those fences didn't give them a hint?

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hammarhead1May. 14, 13 7:32 AM

MNDOT does need to change their way of doing business. They know they are always right (zipper merge, double white lines, etc.) and never consider that they may sometimes make mistakes or there may be a better way.

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aaronbyeMay. 14, 13 7:55 AM

"Persons allegedly "unknown" built a neighborhood road on public property without asking and without approval. Now that sounds sneaky. Solve your problems appropriately and people will work with you. Sneak a road in on somebody else's property rather than working to fix your access, now that sounds like a crime - or at the least - bullying." Before speaking on a matter like this you should know more. How long has that road been there? I know that every resident that lives there has always had that road there. Who would think to check and see if the road was sanctioned? There was a study done in 2010 on this site and that company that the state hired advised to keep the road there. There are many factors. It is not about convenience it is about safety. The turn around we are being offered was not even in the original plans and that shows the lack of planning on the part of the state. I was approached while I was in my driveway on Friday at about 3 pm and the road was closed Monday. We have also been told that the slope on our road could be changed but with that the only road out of the neighborhood how would that work? If you have never been in the area it is very hilly and very difficult to drive after and during a snowfall. We would not have bought our house had that road not been there. With the removal of the road it makes selling homes much more difficult.

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awshucksMay. 14, 13 8:32 AM

I sympatize with the folks that are now limeted in access, but a good learning point for all: Know the legal way in and area property lines when you buy a property. Just because you "think" the road is legal, does not make it so. I've seen subdivisions where virtually everybody's garage was built on the next door neigbor's land, because they all "thought" they knew where the property lines were.

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liberaleliteMay. 14, 13 8:50 AM

Still doesn't change the fact that we're throwing away the better part of a billion dollars with this boondoggle bridge to nowhere, jeopardizing investment in ACTUAL transportation needs within the metro.

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brdrbattlguyMay. 14, 13 9:24 AM

@aaronbye You're barking up the wrong tree; or barricade in this case. It's on state property, period. This isn't something that's grand-fathered in. You should go after whoever your bought your house from then if you were "misled" at the time of purchase. It's not MNDOT's fault; they will do what they want w/their property. I know this road, and it's nothing more than a narrow alleyway. Why do you think the City of OPH, or MNDOT haven't done anything to improve/widen/pave etc... this road in the past? Cuz it's been in the planning stages for decades! Enough delays and squabbling, let's get this bridge built!

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