Fentress residents furious about encroaching ATVs

Fentress residents furious about encroaching ATVs

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The dispute among neighbors is at Ridge Top Acres, near Jamestown. The dispute among neighbors is at Ridge Top Acres, near Jamestown.
An increased use of all-terrain vehicles on the land is causing headaches. An increased use of all-terrain vehicles on the land is causing headaches.
"I have been bullied, harassed, intimidated, and organized stalking," said Ridge Top Acres property owner Denise Stevens. "I have been bullied, harassed, intimidated, and organized stalking," said Ridge Top Acres property owner Denise Stevens.
"Somebody is going to make a big mistake," Joseph Geisler said. "Somebody is going to make a big mistake," Joseph Geisler said.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

JAMESTOWN (WATE) - Residents of a Fentress County community are divided over how land in their development is used.

The dispute among neighbors is at Ridge Top Acres, near Jamestown. Some point out the development was supposed to attract only horse owners, with more than 15 miles of riding trails.

An increased use of all-terrain vehicles on the land is now causing headaches.

"I have been bullied, harassed, intimidated, and organized stalking," said Ridge Top Acres property owner Denise Stevens. "Constant barrage of four-wheelers in front of my home."

Stevens and several other residents who purchased property in the Ridge Top Acres development say members of the Ridge Toppers Trail Association, a volunteer organization within the development, started to use ATVs on the trails after voting to change existing development covenants in 2009.

The owners say the change is a clear violation of the community covenants everyone had to sign when they bought property at the development. They also believe the vote to make the changes was not valid.
     
"Horses and ATVs don't mix," Stevens said. "We are looking for a serious potential of injury and accident."

The group of residents filed a lawsuit and placed signs in front of their homes in protest, but on Monday, a judge ruled in favor of the Ridge Toppers Trail Association.

The judge ruled ATV use is allowed on certain parts of the development.

The residents say even that ruling has been violated.

"Today we have endured numerous ATVs all day long," Stevens said.

At Joseph Geisler's home, his sign was ripped out of the ground and both of his rear tires were flattened.

"I think it's a definite conflict of what happened Monday in court," Geisler said.

Residents feel the Fentress County Sheriff's Office should patrol the Ridge Top area more and they believe the initial covenants need to be honored.

"Somebody is going to make a big mistake," Geisler said. "Everyone up here carries a gun. Somebody is going to get hurt."    

The residents who filed the initial lawsuit said they plan to continue the legal battle.

Ridge Top Acres developer Robert Livingston declined to comment on the situation. Lawyers for the Ridge Toppers Trail Association advised members not to comment.

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