Residents angry over property owner blocking road to Sams Valley community

SAMS VALLEY, Ore. – A group of residents in Sams Valley are looking for answers tonight.

They say a property owner is not allowing them to use the only road to their community.

Traunesian road, as it’s called, is a dirt road that goes up around two miles to a small community of around 20 homes.

Residents there said there’s been a disagreement with a property owner for years on whether the road is his property.

He said he owns land on each side of the road and claims the road is part of his property.

Because of this, he decided to block the road with a gate at the entrance and another at the end of his property to prevent people from using the road.

The residents are angry because they say this is the only way to get to their homes.

But, the owner said he’s just trying to keep his property safe.

“It’s our access in or out for everyone out here,” homeowner DeRyan Johnson said. “We have farms, we have livestock, we have animals, people and kids that are all up here. And if we can’t get in or out to our families then it’s not alright.”

“I‘m having a hard time securing my property,” property owner Toby Womack said. “My grandson almost got run over a year ago by about two feet with a vehicle doing 30 miles per hour.”

Residents said without access to the road, they aren’t able to go to work, get water, good or simply go anywhere.

But Womack claims there is another road neighbors are able to use instead.

We reached out to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office about the situation.

A spokesperson tells us it’s a civil dispute.

Stay tuned to NBC5 News for more on this developing story.

NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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