Road acces issue to be settled in court
Use of Simpson Road by neighboring residents through Prineville Adventure Park is issue at handA trial is planned for mid-February to come up with an access road solution at Prineville Adventure Park.
A key issue now for more than a year has been how neighbors will access their properties without using Simpson Road, which goes through the park.
"Last Friday there was a settlement conference held in the circuit court," said Crook County Counsel Dave Gordon. He added that Wasco County Circuit Court Judge John Kelly led the meeting.
"He came down to mediate this settlement conference," Gordon said. "All of the interested parties attended that settlement conference."
"Jason Bronson from the Adventure Park was there. The Belchers, who are the lead plaintiffs in the civil action were there, and the district attorney was there," the county counsel said. Additionally, several other property owners who live next to the park also attended. "And I just very briefly attended to provide some information to the judge and those present."
Gordon said Bronson is being represented in the civil matter by Portland attorney Dan Kearns and a fellow lawyer. Bend attorney Paul Speck is representing neighbors.
Speck said Circuit Court Judge pro-tem Greg Hendrix of Bend will handle the trial, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 11 and wrap up by Feb. 13. Speck referred other questions to neighbor Janet Belcher.
"There are 34 properties that have no easement and there are a lot of people (who) have not been able to get to their properties for almost two years now," Belcher said. "The county has said that (Simpson) is not a county road, and all we want is to be able to get an easement across Prineville Adventure Park and a public way for people to access BLM."
"We want the road as it was before the Prineville Adventure Park got in there," she said. "We want the old Simpson Road access to be the permanent access into Simpson Road and the new road to be the driveway to his (Bronson's) business."
"No settlement was reached," Gordon said. "However, some progress was made, or so I was told by the judge."
The park has been in operation for a little more than a year. Gordon added that part of the Crook County Planning Commission's approval stipulated "that there would be a review of how the park has worked out. The county will soon be undertaking that review in a public process."
"The county's major goal is to obtain access for people who own property served by Simpson Road," the county counsel emphasized. "There are about 40 property owners in that area who currently use Simpson Road to access their properties."
Criminal case against Bronson continues
The legal process is continuing in the criminal case against Prineville Adventure Park owner Jason Bronson and Marilyn Drinkward.
"A status hearing will be scheduled in the criminal case prior to the trial in the civil case," said Crook County District Attorney Gary Williams.
According to the indictment, Bronson committed harassment, fourth-degree attempted assault, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person, menacing, fourth-degree assault, and second-degree assault.
The indictment and the Crook County Grand Jury also allege that Drinkward committed harassment and strangulation.
Additionally, the indictment alleges that both Bronson and his friend Drinkward tampered with physical evidence (a camcorder) and committed second-degree theft.
The crimes are alleged to have occurred on April 3, 2006, and May 28, 2007.