HERALD STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 12:09 PM CDT
The Creek County Commissioners addressed the issue of landlocked property owners for the third time, during their public session the morning of Sept. 26 and granted the owners access to their land. Heidi Runt and Errett Khan purchased countryside property and had the notion to homestead their land that lies very near to Spring Creek Road.
Their 60 acres however was landlocked, with no roadways in to give the couple access to build a dwelling. The pair asked Creek Commissioners to remedy their roadway issue, first petitioning the BOCC to open 1,973 feet of section line leading to their property on Aug. 29.
The proposed section line opening was contested by surrounding landowner Bob Mercer. His concerns ranged from traffic, replacing fences, utility lines and lost timber. Both properties in question lie in District No. 2.
Mercer shared his concerns with commissioners and the Herald during the Aug. 22 BOCC discussions on opening the section line.
?The petitioner is seeking a private driveway. I will lose 40 acres and I will have to construct a mile of additional fencing,? Mercer said last month. ?My property is off of 481st West Avenue running east. Some call it ?Spring Creek Road? and I have owned the abutting property 50 years,?
Kahn and Runt had legal representation with Tulsa atttorney Brian R. Huddleston who appeared at each of the hearings before the board.
The BOCC itself was in consultation with the county?s legal representation, Assistant District Attorney Laura Farris, with some delay in the process attributed to awaiting the DA?s fully researched legal opinions.
After a small wait for Farris to arrive at the Collins meeting room this week, she okayed the coming action of the commissioners.
Commissioner Newt Stephens made the motion to open the section line, to help alleviate the landlocked property owners and Chairman Johnny Burke seconded.
Commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the public road/driveway opening, so long as it is constructed to county specs and properly surveyed.
In addition Mercer?s property fences will be replaced at no cost to him if any are disturbed by the road building efforts.
?When these things are contested they can take awhile. This was our third appearance in front of commissioners,? Huddleston said. ?We will have to wait a week for this to be official and Mr. Mercer can still appeal this in District Court for a legal stay.
During discussion before the board Huddleston cited case law stemming from early Oklahoma (pre statehood) days dealing with a similar land use dispute from Dec. of 1902.
That case law from ancient days gone-by quoted by Huddleston drew the width of a section line right of way (each side of the proposed road) with an archaic form of measurement: ?rods?.
?A rod is 16-and-a-half feet long and I was a little worried that a rod and a half either side, wouldn?t measure to the county specs, but the old law called for 3-rods right of way and that?s just about 50-feet,? Huddleston said.