Saturday, November 13, 2010

Private Roads A Disappointment At Lake Whitney

Their access to the lake blocked, residents say Bosque County officials will not help

Cedron Creek Ranch, Bosque County – Two home owners at Lake Whitney say they are operating at a disadvantage in an information-poor situation when it comes to the status of the private roads that lead to the shores of this massive lake.

According to Lake Manager Brady Dempsey of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, property owners requested the fences and gates and gates that block their access to the “Corps Road,” a primitive thoroughfare that circles the perimeter of the lake.

But Brent Farrens and Dan Lehnhoff disagree.

When they located at the development, they were told they would have access to the lakeshore directly from the private roads they pay $10 per month to have maintained as members of the Cedron Creek Ranch Property Owners Association.

“We were never asked to vote on that,” said Mr. Farrens, who weekends at his property on the lake in eastern Bosque County.

According to his neighbor Dan Lehnhoff, the association has declared the roads private property in conflict with the word he and others have received from Bosque County Sheriff's officers, who have told he and other residents that the roads are privately maintained, but offer public access.

It's all a matter of interpretation of the association's by-laws, Mr. Lehnhoff says. But there is a major complication in that area.

He has never been allowed to read a copy of the by-laws.

“They're very secretive about it,” he said, adding an observation about the ruling association officers handed down on a requirement to build a house before erecting a barn on properties within the development.

“Then they said if you build a barn first, you have a year to build the house.” He shrugged, adding, “It's in the by-laws, they say, but they won't let you read them.”

When the fences and gates went up along with admonishments that there is no parking allowed on the cul de sacs that abut the Corps lakeside property, he said he could get no information as to why the changes were made.

County officials were of no help. Mr. Lehnhoff paid a visit to the Bosque County Commissioners' Court meeting where County Judge Cole Word told him, “I will do nothing to help you.”

That is what helped him make up his mind to run for the office of County Judge in the year 2014, he said.

Asked if he would run as a Democrat or a Republican, he said, “Well, I'm not a communist, so I guess I'll have to run as a Republican.”

Mr. Lehnhoff served in Southeast Asia as a member of a Navy Seabee detachment during the Vietnam War, then began to operate with special ops teams. He was wounded in combat and lost a limb. Following his convalescence, he worked for more than three decades for Northrup Aviation at Palmdale, California, before retiring at Lake Whitney.

He and Mr. Farrens estimated that about 30 families are affected by the new private road strictures that block their ready access to the perimeter of the lake.

“They aren't going to do White Bluff. Why is that?” Mr. Lehnhoff asked. “That's private property and those are private roads.”


  1. I agree with you that the restricted access takes away from the pleasures of the lake we were promised when purchasing land here.

  2. As President of Cedron Creek Ranch Association, I can tell you that this was discussed at length tonight at our Board of Directors meeting. I realize there is freedom of speech but this is nothing but lies. The road in question, that actually leads to the corps land is on private property and the Corps of Engineers have no problem with the two signs on the road. The signs were meant to keep out hunters and people that are not part of our association. As far as the bylaws being a secret, this is also a lie. If you are a member of the association all you have to do is ask. The Board of Directors never voted on this at all. Before you post something on the internet or write about something you don't know about, maybe you should check your facts. - Gay Norman, President, Cedron Creek Ranch Association.

  3. I am a CCRA member and I wanted the FENCE and GATE.
    As soon as the gate went in thefts in the area went down.
    Late night ATV and car traffic went away. Non-member use of the Private association roads, YES THEY ARE PRIVATE PROPERTY, came to an end. The fence and gate were discussed at length in meeting all members were invited to.
    ANY member can request a STILE from the Corps to access the Corps land. NO WHEELED VEHICLES ARE ALLOWED TO OPERATE ON CORPS PROPERTY, so why do you need a gate or road to the Corps land??