GeoCarta Has Moved

Jan 27, 2006

Judge Ordrers Removal Of Playground On Land Mapped For Parking

Terri Protos of Fairview Beach, Virginia, thought she was doing a good deed when she went door to door to raise money for playground equipment. She eventually raised $5,000 to purchase and install three swings and a slide in her neighborhood. But after reviewing a 70-year old map, Judge J. Peyton Farmer ordered her to remove the playground equipment, ruling that it lies on land dedicated for parking.

As reported by the Free Lance-Star, Norman and Mary Lee Goodridge, who live in front of the playground, filed the suit. They argued that allowing the playground would set a precedent, that would allow others to use the property however they wanted.

Supporters of the playground testified that the land had never been used for parking, as shown on the old map. But the judge's order held that the land could only be used for the purpose designated on the plat. In addition to ordering the removal of the equipment, Judge Farmer ordered Ms. Protos to pay $500 in legal fees to the Goodridges.

It's quite common to see areas on old maps with designations such as, "Square," "Green," "Open Space" or "Park." The case should caution anyone to carefully investigate such property before using it.