County Road 5 plowing debate to go to court

by Carolina King

A local recreation business has intervened in a lawsuit against the county filed earlier this year by landowners on the upper part of County Road 5.
Ten individuals who own land on the hotly contested upper portion of CR 5 filed a lawsuit against the county earlier this year after the Board of County Commissioners presented them with an apparently unsatisfactorily amended Winter Maintenance Agreement.
San Juan Hut System, a local business with a vested interest in National Forest access at the top of CR 5, filed the motion to intervene, which was granted by the district judge.
The hut system’s complaint requests the court enjoin the county from placing a “gate” across CR5. The county has historically placed a chain across the road at the point that it ceases plowing in the winter, although landowners were given access beyond the chain.
“The county intends to vigorously defend this litigation,” County Attorney Carol Viner said at a work session earlier this year, shortly after receiving the property owners’ complaint, which alleges they have been “denied access to their properties” by the county.

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