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Willing Seller Willing Buyer
(Reprinted by permission of Bo W. Thott, Washington County Alliance, Cutler, Maine)

3. THE NUMBERS GAME

The check-offs on the numbered statements indicate that some respondents were unfamiliar with terminology, status of their land, and Park Service acquisition procedure. Some boxes were left blank. The summary of the check-offs is as follows. For the full wording of the survey statements see Appendix 2.

3.1 VOLUNTARY 264 YES 116 NO 1 ?

Many took the view that although they wanted to keep their land, they had signed on the dotted line of their own will and therefore checked off YES. Restrictions on their land, particularly in Florida, were imposed years ago and the reduction in use and value had long since been accepted. This is how one former landowner explained his YES check-off.

“The sale was voluntarely, this time, because I knew that the land acquisition office would push me and keep on pushing me till I sell. It happened to me before, and I learned that at the end I must sell. So this time I sold entirely voluntarely....” [902]

Another one wrote:

“Although I state in No. 1 that the sale was ‘entirely voluntary on my part,’ I feel it was not,...since the amount involved was not so big, I decided to sell and not to lose time and money with legal procedures, etc, but if not approached by them to sell, I would have not done it.” [379]

Others who had bought unbuildable land sight unseen were aware of their mistaken investment and satisfied to recover even a part of their investment.

3.2 PRESSURE 120 YES 235 NO 3 ?

Some checking NO may have been resigned to the situation or believed that courtesy on the part of the park officials indicated absence of pressure.

3.3 INSIDE PARK 205 YES 118 NO 34 ?

Some believed their lot was outside the park boundary until it had been taken.

3.4 RESTRICTIONS 216 YES 116 NO 25 ?

Some may not have grasped the connection between the early rule against improvements and Park restrictions.

3.5 DECIDED IN COURT 33 YES 292 NO 19 ?

Some of the YES check-offs were probably made in the mistaken belief that the set price imposed by the Park Service was the result of a court action. A few may have gone to court but settled out of court. The Park Service has certified that no eminent-domain cases are on the list (Appendix 3) but see also cover page 3, bottom paragraph.

3.6 SETTLEMENT OUT OF COURT 02 YES 325 NO 7 ?
3.7 NEVER IN COURT 306 YES 29 NO 7 ?

The NO check-offs could be an unintended double-negative confirmation: No, the case was never in court.

See next Part (4. Comments received)

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