In an on-going civil case, Fannin County Superior Court has ruled the Aska Roads Rapids area is owned by the county.
The property is located between Aska Road and the Toccoa River as successors in title and interest to the State Highway Department of the State of Georgia.
“Thus, the area that is the turn off or parking area adjacent to the river in the bend of the road next to the rapids has been determined by the Court to be owned by the County,”
Attorney Lynn Doss said in a statement this morning. Doss said she did not act in the civil case as county attorney, but as an individual attorney. In her statement, Doss explained the county’s ownership of the property extends to the center of the stream of the river
“In a nutshell,”
“the rapids have been deemed publicly owned property.”
The case was initially brought as a trespass case in 2008. In an overview last August, Doss noted the land in question was deeded to Fannin County in 1966 by Lonnie Frisbee, adding that Frisbee was the predecessor in title to the plaintiffs in this action.
Disputes started when plaintiffs were upset with rafters and tubers exiting the river and loitering near residences, claiming those exiting the river were trespassing. Rather than bringing legal action against the alleged trespassers, though, they brought their case against several near-by river outfitters.
“The Court suggested that the outfitters were not a proper Defendant,”
Doss wrote in her overview,
“in that they themselves were not the parties that might have engaged in the trespass unless it could have been shown that the outfitters were specifically instructing their clients to leave the river at the point in question.”
Prohibition of rafters and tubers to the access point could also drive away business for outfitters involved in the case.
In her statement today, Doss said the opposing party has the right to appeal, but did not indicate whether an appeal has been filed. She also anticipates the county will remove any obstructions and will mow the area in the same manner it maintains public parks and county road rights-of-way.
“It has been my privilege to undertake this representation in order to secure the availability of this lovely area of our county for utilization by the public. Please enjoy, be safe and insure that the area remains clean, litter free and a benefit to all,”