Riverview Road, Private Drive or Public Property?

By: Jonathan Hardison
By: Jonathan Hardison

Riverview Road runs beyond the sharp right curve on Beech Bend Road and right between two pieces of private property. The neighbors who own those houses say the roadway is and has always been a private drive, while Beech Bend park officials contend it is a public drive. The property owners also say they are worried for their children's safety.

Warren County attorney Michael Caudill sent Dallas Jones, Beech Bend Park Director, a letter on Friday ruling that the county believes the disputed pavement is a private drive, and ordered Jones to stop using the road for access to Beech Bend Raceway. Since Beech Bend Park is planning to host a major NHRA race on June 20th, the timing could not have been worse for Jones.

Jones says he expects up to 25,000 out-of-town fans and, according to BG Visitor's Bureau Director Gary West, could mean a $3 million boom to area tourism.

The County Attorney's office called Jones on Friday afternoon to inform him a 30-day extension had been granted, and he could continue to use the road through race weekend. The NHRA, however, is demanding written proof of permission by Wednesday morning, or they say they will move the race to Columbus, OH.

Jones says he is still awaiting that letter from the County Attorney's office, and says he believes only Michael Caudill will be able to clear up what has become a bitter land dispute.

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