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AV Land Trust Sues Peachland Family (Part 12)

Jim Snyder, our High School Principal, sued me in court in Ukiah. I’m still trying to figure out why. 

Some current news stories feel eerily familiar. Lawsuits have been filed but are lacking any supporting evidence. Lawsuits that seem to have been filed only out of personal animosity and a need for retribution.

Maybe I shouldn’t be confused as to why Principal Jim Snyder wanted to sue me. Steve Wood, Vice president of the Anderson Valley Land Trust explained in the AVA why the Land Trust sued me. Steve wrote; “CT had developed his own vision, which involved relying on a ‘commercial transient hospitality’ clause in the easement to develop the property as a camping resort.” 

Despite the easement document very specifically allowing the property to be a camping resort, I never had any such vision. Where did Steve get this idea? I’m going to assume Jim Snyder was also operating under this false narrative when he decided to sue me.

The judge heard the case, and said this, in her final ruling; “There was no testimony that there is any intention to turn the property into a campground or construct multiple cabins. Plaintiff has failed to submit any evidence to the contrary and any opinions to the contrary are speculative at best. Nonetheless,… the easement does not prohibit the construction of more cabins or camping… The easement allows for commercial use and transient occupancy. There is nothing ambiguous about the terms contained in the easement. “

Ok. That seems awfully clear. Just to be really, really clear, the “Plaintiff” is the people at the Land Trust who wanted to sue me, Jim Snyder and Steve Wood. But the really strange part is how ingrained this lie is with Steve Wood. That quote from the judge’s ruling is from 2019, when the judge ruled on the case. A year later, in 2020, Steve decided to put his reasons for suing me on the front page of the AVA. And his reason is STILL the made up lie about a “resort” that the judge said had no evidence a YEAR BEFORE. You can read all these dated documents for yourself at

So how did this lie get so deeply entrenched in Steve Wood’s brain? How did it get in Jim Snyder’s? I’d love to hear directly from Steve or Jim where they got this fantasy, but since I doubt I’ll be hearing from them, I’ll take a guess; Anderson Valley Land Trust President and Philo vacation home owner Patrick Miller.

Why did Patrick Miller tell the other board members that C.T. wanted to turn his property into a “resort” and a “campground”? My guess is that Patrick wanted something that he thought would raise eyebrows and get their attention. He needed a reason that would convince the other board members to file a lawsuit. And he succeeded in this lie by convincing the “lazy” board members like Jim Snyder that a lawsuit was indeed necessary. Steve and Jim could have decided not to be “lazy.” But that would have involved them talking to me and asking if I wanted to make my property a campground. Jim or Steve never approached me for any conversation. And when I approached Jim and Steve, I was told I was not allowed to talk with them. 

I’m not sure if Steve and Jim are lazy architects or Principals. When they’re asked if they want to sue CT, they suddenly get really lazy with fact checking. I can only hope they are not so lazy with their day jobs.

Patrick Miller, Anderson Valley vacationer, was the only Land Trust member who was “allowed” to talk with me. Here’s how that went;

Patrick: [The Land Trust has] been quiet on the subject about the cabins, they’re grandfathered in…

CT: I have to say I don’t think they’re grandfathered in, but fair enough…

Patrick: Well, they’re recognized so…they’re there, and Moe and Charity (My Aunt and Uncle who I own the property with) tell me they just want to use them for the family…

CT: That’s correct, we actually have no…

Patrick: You say you want to use them for Transient Hospitality, so that’s a difference…

CT: I mean, maybe, at some point, since the easement allows it, but I have no plans for that. I just want to be able to access that cabin for myself…

So, here I was clearly stating that I had no plans for Transient Hospitality. This conversation took place well before I got sued. I feel pretty sure Patrick Miller didn’t listen to what I was saying. 

This is a 40 minute recorded conversation between me and Patrick. I recorded it. Patrick also recorded it. Then my mom Briana Burns typed up a fairly accurate full transcript of the recording. I have posted the recording and the transcript at Go listen for yourself if you’re interested. Just go to the 31 minute mark if you want to hear the above parts where I try to explain to Patrick that my family has no plans for Transient Hospitality. Maybe Steve and Jim can listen to it. Maybe they can finally drop the idea that my family wanted/wants to turn our property into a campground. The strange part is that they took me to court and got a judge to rule that the property could be turned into a campground. At any time. 

That’s where I start to feel like there’re some similarities to some current lawsuits in the news. There’s no basis in fact. There’s no evidence. But there is a strong desire to swing their dick around.

Mission Accomplished.

One Comment

  1. Patrick November 25, 2020

    Yes. Not the first baseless lawsuit wasting time and valuable court time oh and donations from good land trust visions

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