Controversy flared yesterday, when the Idaho State Supreme Court rendered a decision regarding the high water mark on Lake Coeur d'Alene.
For those of you that are from out of the area, or unfamiliar with the issue, lakeshore residents along an area called Sanders Beach, have had trespass problems for years, as a street separates their houses from the strip of beach in front which they own.
For many years, the property owners have had problems with trash, loud parties and such in front of their homes, and in clear violation of property rights.
Because some prior owners, certainly not all, allowed public access, suggests that they were guests. Some have taken that as a public right to free access.
My position here, is that if the public good needs to be served by owning this beach, the public, through either City or County auspices, must purchase it, by either voluntary sale, or condemnation. The public must never be allowed to take property without compensation.
Recently, a local judge ruled that the high water mark denoting public/private ownership boundaries, was 2130 feet. This is two feet above the Summer high water level, excepting floods and such. The historical high water mark was several feet lower, prior to the building of a dam, which raised the level to it's current 2128.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-0 to overturn the local judge, and established 2128 as the true high water mark. It is sad, because some disagree with their ruling, they have cast aspersions as to the intelligence, or integrity of these justices. A unanimous decision suggests that the decision was based on good law, not emotion.
It would behoove those in opposition to look inside themselves, and ask if it isn't emotional attachment, rather than legal right that has formed their positions.
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