This sad story shows how difficult, as Al Gore said, “the wrenching transformation of society” will be. The bike paths, walking paths, and mass transit lines for our new human settlements are being forced onto private property over the objections of the individuals who are being forced to sacrifice their land to eminent domain.
The owner of a property in Montgomery County, 85 year old Mary Granato, has been fighting to prevent Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission from having her large trees cut down and her front yard taken through eminent domain. MVRPC has plans to construct a bike path within 8 feet of her front door. This battle for property rights has been going on for most of a year.
This story ends even more tragically than normal. On July 31, 2013, while the county, against Mary’s wishes, was cutting down the mature trees immediately in front of her 150 year old house, Mary had a heart attack and died. To read about the struggle Mary has had since last October to stop this infringement of her property rights, please click here. link
Below is the story written in the Dayton Daily News on August 4, 2013 after Mary’s death.
The death of an 85-year-old Washington Twp. woman could postpone work on the stretch of Austin Boulevard running past her home.
Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner said he would ask contractors on the $5 million road widening and bike path extension project to avoid working in front of Mary Granato’s home on Monday, the day of her funeral.
The Granatos are scheduled for trial later this year in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court in eminent domain proceedings stemming from the county taking sections of their land for the project.
A study found the house lacked “historic integrity.” The project comes within eight feet, “but structure will not be physically impacted,” according to a county presentation. The bike path was moved as far as allowed by state regulations, Gruner said.
The family asked for construction near their home to be delayed after her death Wednesday because it was distracting while they mourned.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed Granato, 85, died at 11:47 a.m. Wednesday, at her home, east of Ohio 741.
“We’re sorry Mrs. Granato passed away,” Gruner said late Friday. “We’re doing our job. The contractor is doing their job.”
The Granatos’ lawyer, Matt Fellerhoff, has been working with the county to postpone construction since the death Wednesday.
“This is not a legal issue at this point. This is just common decency,” Fellerhoff said.
Granato is to be buried in a private service Monday at Our Lady of Good Hope Cemetery in Miamisburg.