Land Dispute Puts 37 Animals in Danger

By Jillian Petrus, Reporter

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa – A land dispute could be putting some animals in danger. The argument is over a small access road that leads to Trask's Horse Farm near Solon.

In the meantime, the couple needs to take care of their animals. An attorney working with the Trasks has filed and injunction to have the barriers removed until the dispute is resolved. It could take another day for a judge to respond to the request, leaving the animals unattended, lacking water, and possibly unfed.

"He wanted us arrested for trespassing even if we just walked up to water the horses," said Wendy Trask on Wednesday.

She and her husband say they've been at odds with neighboring property owner Troy Tiedeman over 120th Street NE in Solon. It's a small access road leading to their property.

"He's got gates up there he's been threatening to close on us since March," said Doug Trask.

This time it's concrete barriers keeping them from their animals. The couple says they've already spent thousands in court fees to keep the only entrance to their stables open.

"It's going to hurt," said Dough, "hurt us, our business, and our boarders."

Virginia Heal is one of Trask's clients. She boards her horse at their farm and received no notice of plans to close off the road.

"In my opinion this is abuse," said Heal, "and I will be filing charges if this doesn't get taken care of soon."

The concrete wall is also keeping Steve Hauser from his 130 acre farm. "These people have been here one year," said Hauser. "We've been here 100. I don't understand why it has to be so un-neighboorly."

We contacted the Tiedeman's to find out why they're keeping people off the easement. On Wednesday, they said they have no comment on the matter at this time.

We know the county is involved at some level. R.J. Moore with Planning and Zoning gave us this statement:

"I did contact Mr. Tiedemann or his attorney and informed them that the Trasks' stable was a legal permitted use in our A-Agricultural district. Apparently the Tiedeman thought it was not."

But Moore says this is a private land dispute, meaning the Trasks cannot reach their animals until a judge says it's ok.

Planning and Zoning said they've contacted the Assistant County Attorney to see what can be done to help the Trasks.

The couple expects to find out Thursday if the injunction will be approved by a judge-- something Doug Trask says he is anxiously awaiting.

"I just need to get to my horses," he said.
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