An investment company with land surrounded by Young Life's Washington Family Ranch filed a tort claim Friday, April 10, in Jefferson County Circuit Court claiming Young Life and another property owner, Jay Olson, are denying the company access to its land near Antelope.
Redmond-based Ace High Investments LLC, whose principal is Redmond builder and real estate agent Bruce Dunlap, bought a 640-acre tract of farmland for $500,000 from the King Family LLC in 2017. The property "is 100% landlocked and surrounded by the Young Life property," according to the tort claim filed by Ace High Investment's attorney, Alan Stewart. Olson owns property adjacent to Young Life's camp on the west.
The property Ace High Investments bought had been owned by a King family member since 1978, and the only way to get to it is by an unimproved access road which has been in use for 100 years, the complaint said. "The entry point for the access road, and part of the road itself, lies on Olson's property and is restricted by a gate owned and controlled by Olson."
Without the road, the property is worthless, the claim says.
On Feb. 5, 2018, Young Life notified Ace High Investments that the company couldn't use the road without written permission, the complaint said.
"On April 19, 2018, and then again in March 2020 and April 2020, Olson put (Ace High Investments) on notice that the use of the gate to gain entry to the access road and the portion of the access road on his property would no longer be allowed and that the gate would remain locked."
Stewart argued that Young Life and Olson's actions "attempt to terminate" his client's only access to the property.
Efforts to reach Young Life and Olson were unsuccessful.
Ace High is asking the court for an easement "by necessity," "prior use" and "prescription" that allows "its agents, guests and representatives unrestricted access" to the property. It's also asking for a judgment for its costs and "any further relief the court deems appropriate."
The Washington Family Ranch was known as the Muddy Ranch before the Rajneeshees bought it in 1981. Washington Construction bought the ranch in 1991, and Young Life has been operating part of the ranch that sits in Wasco County as a camp since 1999. Its land in Jefferson County is mostly grazing land, said County Administrative Officer Jeff Rasmussen. There are several tracts of land that are surrounded by Young Life-owned property, including many owned by the Bureau of Land Management.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.