Decision to Sell Land

Is Not Up to Neighbors

Unfortunately, the owners of the Vienna property known as Midgetville face an all-too-familiar predicament ["Emotional Investment," Fairfax Extra, Aug. 26].

They cannot afford to keep property that has been in their family for generations and must sell to developers. Naturally their neighbors are not happy with the decision.

What these well-meaning neighbors do not understand is the enormous amount of money and energy it takes to maintain this type of property. We all complain about our real estate taxes, but how many of us have to shell out $14,000 a year? Has any neighbor offered to help the Leppin family pay this bill?

Maintaining the buildings and grounds is another daunting task. Has any neighbor offered to repair or paint outbuildings, weed gardens, cut grass, pull weeds? Does anyone patrol the property on a regular basis, in an attempt to stave off vandalism?

The Leppins' neighbors need to understand and accept the family's decision to sell and work with the developers to plan a better neighborhood than the one they currently envision. We all understand the importance of scenic landscapes and open space, but it can't be at the expense of the family who owns it. The Leppins thought long and hard before coming to the decision to sell, and it was certainly a very wrenching choice.

Susan Hellman