February 10, 2012

Testimony ends in Elk Falls disputed roads trial
Written order to be issued by judge following end of testimony

Mike Potter
Staff Writer

Elk Falls disputed roads

This map, provided by Vera Dunwody, co-owner of Lower Lake Ranch near the Elk Falls subdivision, shows the area, outlined in bold black, where the disputed roads are. The handwriting on the map is that of Dunwody. (Courtesy map)

Testimony concluded on Feb. 7 in a trial to resolve ownership of portions of three roads near the Elk Falls subdivision northwest of Shaffers Crossing near Pine Junction.

The trial is the culimination of a lawsuit brought by the Elk Falls Property Owners Association in February 2010 against Vera and Drayton Dunwody, owners of Lower Lake Ranch at Elk Falls, after the Dunwodys placed rocks across Juniper Road, blocking that access point to the Elk Falls subdivision. Also named as a defenedant is Farm Credit of Southern Colorado.

Fairplay-based District Judge Stephen Groome said on Feb. 7 that he would issue a written order regarding his decision following the conclusion of closing arguments.

Groome didn't indicate when the written order would be issued.

The Dunwodys bought the Lower Lake Ranch property in 2008 from the Elk Falls Development Company.

When the boulders appeared, the Elk Falls Property Owners Association sued the Dunwodys and won a temporary injunction barring the Dunwodys from blocking the road until the ownership of the road was resolved.

The Elk Falls POA is arguing that the road is a public road that has been used as such for decades.

The Dunwodys are arguing that the roads are private, and belonged to the Elk Falls Sportsman's Club, and that use of the roads was only intended for dues-paying club members, ranch guests, and some residents in the subdivision.

The trial, which began on Jan. 30, was scheduled to last two weeks.

The attorney for the Elk Falls Property Owners Association on the first day of the trial indicated that he believed the trial could be presented in five days. The attorney for the Dunwodys said he believed it would take longer for the trial to be completed.

The testimony and closing arguments wrapped up on Feb. 7, six days after it began.

Testimony wasn't heard in court on Feb. 6.

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