Lawmakers Fear A Stampede To Condemn Unused Property

Colorado Capitol Building
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Denver (AP) Some Colorado property owners are rushing to claim other people's unused land before a new law goes into effect on July 1 tightening the state's lax property condemnation rules.

One ranch has notified at least 40 people it wants to condemn their vacant land where cattle have grazed for decades, the ranch's lawyer said.

Lawmakers said Thursday they are considering a bill to tighten the rules sooner to keep even more cases from being filed. They say they don't know how many cases are in the works.

The law was changed after a Boulder couple successfully sued to get part of an adjacent vacant lot under a principle called adverse possession. The couple said they had been using the land for 25 years without protest.