Hundreds of residents at Lake Diversion will now have to leave their homes, some of which have been in their families for generations.
This after the new owner and management of the Waggoner Ranch told them their leases will not be renewed, and to get off the property by next January.
Most residents found out about the lease termination when a notice was posted on the community bulletin board Thursday. And Friday they received a certified letter with the same notice.
It stated the reason for the decision was that the owner wants “to restore the shoreline to its natural uninhabited landscape to improve the microecosystem” and that means the current inhabitants must get off, and take their homes and buildings with them, if they can.
When Annette McNeil got the notice that the lease on her Lake Diversion home she’s lived in for 10 years will not be renewed, she said it had the same impact as seeing it burn down in a fire.
Like every other resident here, she has until Jan. 31, next year to get off, whether she can move her home off or not.
“You can’t give somebody a piece of paper and say I’m taking your home away from you,” said McNeil.
The instructions in the notice tell residents they should make arrangements to remove all property from the lot and completely vacate premises by termination date.
Any property left on the premises after termination date will be deemed abandoned by tenant and landlord may remove and dispose of such property without liability.
The letter also states, if a tenant enters any of those areas after the termination date, such entry will be regarded as trespassing.
This comes after the Waggoner Ranch was sold to Stan Kroenke, owner of five professional sports teams and more than a million acres of land around the world.
And for McNeil, the thought of walking away from the home she’s lived in for 10 years is too much to bear. She said she can’t afford to start over .
“This does not give you enough time to prepare for your future,” McNeil said. “This is the only home I’ve lived in my whole entire life 10 years. This was my home.”
Lynn and Jo Sharon Postelwait bought their home at Lake Diversion in 1969 and they’ve been living out there permanently the last 34 years.
“It’s going to be hard when I see them destroying my house, because we’ve done everything in here ourselves,” said Jo Sharon.
She said she’s been on the Board of Directors of the Cabin Owners Association for 20 years and she said it’s going to be hard saying goodbye.
“It’s getting me upset just thinking about it,” Jo Sharon said. “And everybody that comes up here says ‘oh you have the prettiest view from up here.”
Mickey Jordan said Lake Diversion has been a part of his life since he can remember. He said his grandparents and parents had homes out there and he just bought a home of his home.
“I planned to keep my house for quiet a long time and that my parents planned to retire and stay at the lake and fish and do some stuff they’ve always wanted to,” Jordan said. “But now it doesn’t look like they’re going to get to.”
For the Jordans, McNeil, the Postelwaits and scores more families life as they have known it on this lake is coming to an end….and they have to figure out what to do next about the homes they have lived in and paid taxes on ….and whether there is any hope of a change in the decision.
And the next step is that the Cabin Owners Association are having a meeting Saturday at Lake Diversion at 7pm. Tune into KFDX 3 News Saturday night at 10, for more.
GoFundMe page to donate to families.