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Private Property Rights

'This is our heaven': Colorado couple fights to save land from eminent domain

"They're spending us to death," said landowner Andy Barrie. He is not talking about property taxes, inflation or even the cost of skiing in glitzy ski country. Rather, he's talking about the legal fight he and his wife have been waging to save their pristine piece of mountain property -- with breathtaking views of Colorado's high country -- from being taken over by the county through eminent domain. Their battle is a unique test of private property rights. Unlike in countless other cases, where local governments have used those powers to seize land to make way for a road or some economic development project, Colorado's Summit County is using eminent domain to go after the Barries' land simply because officials want the open space. It's a peaceful plot of land the Barries don't want to part with. "Everyone has their special place where they really like to go, and when we came up here the first time we said this is our heaven, this is a special place," Andy Barrie explained. Two years ag...

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