Landowner says bottom line, it’s private property
Glace Bay man says ditch across path is for safety.
A Glace Bay man says he doesn’t have any problem with his neighbour, simply safety concerns about a hole his neighbour dug.
“I just feel I have a moral obligation to warn the public the hole is there,” Pat Reid said.
“Kids go flying down this path on four-wheelers. If they were to hit that hole, they’d be over that bank and gone.”
Reid, of Blackett Street, said there’s a path along the cliff at the ocean that extends from the Miners’ Museum to Glace Bay harbour.
“It’s been used by people for walking for the past 35 to 40 years.”
He said ocean front property on Blackett Street formerly owned by Devco, was later developed into lots and sold by the former Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.
He said after checking out an excavator working close to the cliff ’s edge, he discovered a huge ditch was dug across the path to the edge of the bank, blocking access.
“Young boys and girls, teenagers, and adults have been driving ATVs and bicycles along there since we built our home on the street in 1983.”
Reid said the owner apparently is upset with ATVs going through there and he understands that.
“I’m not disagreeing with him protecting his property, he’s got my support on that. I can see why he wouldn’t want traffic.”
However Reid feels the public should be warned about the ditch now on this trail.
“Going over that bank would likely cause a death, and if not, certainly serious injury. I am hoping that people read this and alert people who walk or drive along there to be careful.”
The owner of the land, who wished not to be identified, confirmed he had a ditch built on his property, to secure his land from trespassing.
“Regardless if they drove over your front lawn, or walked over your front lawn, it’s the very same thing. It’s no different from any other private property anywhere.”
He said people walk too close to the edge of the 50 foot cliff; he has seen children as young as eight or nine years old tearing down the path in ATVs.
“Children shouldn’t even been near those cliffs and they are tear- ing down there at horrendous speeds,” he said.
“The top lip extends over nothing - it’s a void, brought in by natural air and sea forces. I don’t go near the edge - it’s dangerous.”
The owner built his home there three years ago and was captivated by the view.
“There was nothing but my car and a flat piece of dirt. I looked out and thought, ‘ This is what I wanted to see.” He said he purchased his piece from the former ECBC, ‘right down to the water.’
“Our eastern boundary is called ‘the high water mark. We actually own to the water, which includes the cliffs and everything.”
He said there has been years of issues, not only ATVs, but during Glace Bay fire works festivities, there is a ‘steady stream of cars and trucks driving down there.
“At the point the property was purchased, no one had a right to be anywhere near it, regardless that it had been abused by the public when owned by Devco. I’ve secured it as private property which is my total right. I don’t want to see people and if they’re there, they are there illegally.”
On Thursday the landowner put ‘private property’ signs by the ditch.
“It’s about respect. Anyone who puts their foot on any part of that path does not respect private property.”
He said his lawn extends behind the house but beyond that they’ve kept it as a wildness area on purpose. Dist. 9 Coun. George MacDonald said he has received calls of concern regarding the ditch from residents.
“There was a walkway there people used for years. Their concern is they can’t use it anymore.”
He said the landowner has had issues with ATVs and traffic for years.
“I think his concern was fourwheelers were using it and last year he said there was even traffic down there, even trucks using it.”
MacDonald said he checked with the proper sources and has confirmed four or five residents there did purchase the land from the former ECBC.
“I confirmed the homeowner in question here does own that land - it goes down right to the water.”
Mary Pat Mombourquette, director of the Miners Museum, said this path was how she would get to work daily, where she’d walk her dog.
“I can’t use that path anymore, it’s impassable,” she said.
Mombourquette said she realizes ATVs were using this path, which can cause erosion, however she said the huge trenches would cause even more erosion. As well she has heard complaints at the museum.
“People who would come in the Men of the Deeps concert would like to go down and walk the back way and now they can’t. Americans coming in thought it was fabulous, now it just looks inhospitable.”
Pat Reid of Blackett Street, Glace Bay, stands near a ditch a homeowner built across a path that extends across the landowner’s ocean front property, preventing public access to the path. The path is on private property.