Chapman Files Court Complaint Claiming Right to Maintain Gold Hill Road
by Gus Jarvis
Jan 21, 2011 | 3596 views | 5 5 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TELLURIDE – Tom Chapman’s latest bid to assert property rights with respect to mining parcels in Bear Creek has come in the form of a complaint filed in San Miguel District Court on Friday.

The Gold Hill Development Company, in which Chapman is a partner, filed a complaint against the Telluride Ski and Golf Co. seeking the right to utilize, maintain, repair and improve the Gold Hill Road, which crosses through the Telluride Ski Area.

According to the complaint, the Gold Hill Road begins in the Town of Telluride and switchbacks southward until it intersects with the ski area’s See Forever Run, and then continues southward up to the Gold Hill Ridge entering the Bear Creek Basin, where it ends on the Little Bessie Lode.

If the claim is deemed valid by the court, maintenance of the road, including winter plowing, could have serious ramifications for some of the ski area’s most popular intermediate runs.

The GHDC purchased three mining claims last March, including the Little Bessie Lode, and now claims to have the right to “cross, use, maintain, repair, and improve the Gold Hill Road” where it crosses Telski property.

The complaint states that both Telski and GHDC have rights to the use of Gold Hill Road but Telski’s rights are “junior and inferior” to GHDC’s rights.

Because Telski disputes GHDC’s claim that CHDC can improve or maintain Gold Hill Road the complaint asks for a judicial determination and declaration of the two parties’ rights and obligations to the Gold Hill Road.

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January 24, 2011
So this is a bit ironic-

Forest Ranger Schutza, acting without any public comment, closes public lands so the public doesn't trespass on our dear friend Mr. Chapman's land.

Now we have Mr. Chapman claiming an easement on public land so he can get to his mining claim. If he is successful in its enforcement he will shut down a public ski run on public land so he can plow his easement (on the public's road) to his private mining claim...

Good job thinking this one out..Good Research! All those studies and crap and you should have been doing the hard work like reading the easements to the claims..

Ol Schutza??? I have never seen her act in the public interest...first with the no public comment on the private guiding service and then the no public comment on we are closing down access to your land at the top of BC...

You can't make this up!

January 24, 2011
I see this more as a Karma thing.

For decades Telluride has treated neighboring land owners horribly - on both ends of the valley.

Now, Chapaman has got the upper hand through an invaluable mining claim no one thought to buy when it was on sale and locals are freaking out.

What goes around, comes around.

Maybe we should have spent less time debating poop and plastic bags and more time in reality.

January 23, 2011
It's amazing, Tom Chapman is a wolf in wolf's clothing and Telluride Ski Resort should have seen Mr. Douche Bag coming from a mile away. Why in the world would Telluride Ski Resort not purchase all of those mining claims when they were putting in the Bear Creak Lift? It should be interesting... !!
January 22, 2011
These mining claims are apparently quite valuable regardless of whether any mining goes on. Are they subject to property tax? Seems that they should be taxed by the county at a rate equal to or greater than a little lot and they should be re-appraised, too.
January 21, 2011
Geez...looks like this is really a can of worms..apparently these mining claims come with all type of rights and no one took the time to figure all this out...just jumped in with both feet...I mean who would a thunk to figger out these rights before advertising the financial er, I mean skiing interests as avalanche studies, then guided tours, then the big new one..I guess no one..

Except Chapman.

The man did his homework and now we see our beloved ski hill subject to being carved apart;

But, hey, no one is to blame! No amount of introspection should occur..nope...

We better get with some heavyweights..Sherman and Howard come to mind...this is going to be some fight...