Clifton Park Resident Becomes Target for Vandalism, Arson Attempt?

Some neighbors believe the Forest Road resident is being singled out for filing a lawsuit against the Clifton Club over property rights.

As a legal dispute intensifies between Clifton Park residents and the Clifton Club, one of the plaintiffs in the case believes he’s become a target of vandalism and an arson attempt at his Forest Road home.

“It is a very disturbing and sobering moment when you awaken on a beautiful Sunday morning and find an unsuccessful attempt was made to ignite your home with you and wife asleep in it,” Arthur Dueck, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said in a letter circulating the neighborhood.

“This is a very serious matter.”

According to police reports during the past several weeks, eggs were thrown at the Dueck home on two separate occasions; and someone left a bag containing "some kind of fat” on the porch and set it on fire at around 8 a.m. May 19.

The lawsuit over the rights to the land — more specifically, the beach — recently got a lot more complicated. A Cuyahoga County judge decided that the lawsuit — filed last year by four residents — should include more than 200 homeowners, since the dispute centers around who has rights to the property.

The complainants argue that that club’s membership has crowded the once-quiet lakefront beach at the mouth of the Rocky River. Clifton Park residents also have rights to the beach.

The lawsuit has heightened tensions in the neighborhood.

In addition to the recent police reports, Dueck and his wife have received “hang-up calls” during the night.

“This attempted arson at the Dueck house is just the last in a series of recent acts of vandalism,” another resident wrote in a letter circulating the neighborhood.  

“This is not the way a civilized neighborhood functions. The four plaintiffs are trying to protect our property rights. These criminal acts should not be condoned.”

The Clifton Park Trustees responded with a statement of their own.

“(The trustees) deplore the recent incidents of personal harassment of a Forest Road neighbor and call for an immediate stop to any and all such activities,” according to the letter. “Clifton Park has always been a close community with respect for our neighbors, and these regrettable incidents violate that tradition.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Lakewood Police Department’s detective bureau at 216-529-6767.

Love Lakewood May 27, 2013 at 01:50 PM
“This is not the way a civilized neighborhood functions" No, i guess they sue each other instead. Can't they all just share the beach and be happy????!!!! I'd like access to the waterfront, but I'm not a resident or a member. Maybe i should sue for access.
The original Bill May 27, 2013 at 02:10 PM
I don't have a dog in this fight since I don't live in Clifton Park (though I am friends with people who do) and I am not a member of Clifton Club. Here is my 2 cents. The homeowners all pay a yearly assessment for the upkeep of the beach and clubhouse area. Clifton Club also pays this assessment. However Clifton Club began selling memberships, to increase it's bottom line, by touting the use of the beach as one of the perks of membership. Now as I see it Clifton Club owns 2 or 3 lots in Clifton Park which shouldn't allow them to sell an unlimited amount of memberships to the beach area. I sympathize with the plaintiffs in this case. I haven't been down to the beach there in over 20 years but I do remember going down there and there were only a couple of dozen others there at the same time. It was a nice family gathering spot. From what I understand that is no longer the norm. Now there is overcrowding and unruly nonresidents. That is a shame. Clifton Club should be limited in the amount of memberships they can sell.
ian king May 27, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Well, if it is unruly, aren't there rules in place? Isn't there a city ordinance on number of occupants in a space? I am sure there is - so what is the beef? Sounds like a veiled attempt to segregate - keep this ala club private. Well, so be it - keep it a private club, but dont' expect to maintain minimal usage if you start selling memberships to increase usage! where is the logic in that? except in the bank account!
The original Bill May 27, 2013 at 11:18 PM
So Ian, you agree with the plaintiffs then. Good so do I.
Alexandra May 29, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Lots of us would love access. I have very good breeding as do my children, come from money, but were hit hard by the recession. Maybe membership should be based on behavior over income... The 1% types have too much entitlement ideology and think they can what they want, manners ignored. The private residents are probably better mannered and sick of the entitlement behavior...


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