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New Route 518 Hunting Spot Draws Objection From Neighbor

The access trail to the Route 518 hunting parcel is located right behind an area homeowner Lisa Kapsokefalos uses to relax, she said.

A Route 518 resident’s complaint about the access point to the township’s newest hunting spot has officials reconsidering its placement.

The resident, Lisa Kapsokefalos, is upset that the tract’s access road is just about 12 feet from her property, and that she was never notified that the property was going to be used for hunting.

She brought her complaint to the Township Council at its September 14 meeting, prompting the decision to suspend hunting on the parcel until a solution to her problem could be figured out.

The hunting season began on September 11, and runs through February.

Kapsokefalos, who bought her house three years ago, said she knew the township was buying the adjacent 124-acre tract because she had to help untangle a property line issue.

She said she didn’t know the land was going to be used for hunting until September 12, when several hunters suddenly showed up and parked their trucks on the access trail and in front of her house.

“I was here Sunday and I see guys walking back here, and I’m like, what are you doing?” she said.

Kapsokefalos said that she likes to relax in the hammock she’s set up in her back yard – situated about 12 feet from the access trail – and have her morning coffee.

“I said please don’t, it’s Sunday,” she said. “And the guy starts yelling at me, you’re harassing us, we have a right to be here. We don’t have any guns, we’re just looking around.”

“I’m just here with my daughter and my little cute dog, I don’t need people yelling at me,” Kapsokefalos said.

“This cannot be a public access way, to a public hunting ground,” she said. “This is my home.”

She said hunters also parked their trucks in front of her house on Route 518, which made it difficult for her daughter to pull out of their driveway safely.

“I get the deer problem, but the deer aren’t paying $15,000 or $16,000 in taxes to live on this property,” she said. “A bunch of hunters coming here with guns and having a massacre in my back yard is not going to solve the deer problem. It’s not necessary.”

Her story took most Council members by surprise.

“The issues that were raised were first raised to me about an hour ago, so I haven’t had a while lot of time to discuss this with anybody,” Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said. “This is a matter that needs to be looked into.”

Councilman Ted Chase (D-Ward 1) said a priority would be to get the parked cars off of Route 518.

One solution, he said, could be to “create a new parking lot, with a new curb cut, a little further up 518 where this property has more of a frontage. The disadvantage is there’s no trail going anywhere from that.”

Alternatively, he said, the township could “improve the wood road past the property in question and put in a parking lot further in, so at least people would drive in rather than parking on 518 and walking in past her property. The problem with that is you run into wetlands.”

“We want to have this looked at right away and do something as soon as possible,” he said.

Vornlocker suggested that “At the very least, we suspend hunting on the property till the matter can be addressed.”

“I think we should suspend until we have time to address this,” Mayor Phil Kramer said.

“That’s the only alternative that I can come up with on the fly here,” Vornlocker said.

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