For a decade, Stephen and Wendy Beisel have been fighting with Manitou Springs in an effort to develop 70 acres they own on the southern boundary of town. In fact, Beisel and neighbor Tom McGee have tried, unsuccessfully, to get access to Manitou streets and utility service. Here is a map of the area.
Here is an aerial photo of Manitou Springs with the approximate location of the Beisel property.
Here is a 2006 Gazette file photo of Stephen and Wendy Beisel on their property.
Here is a file photo of McGee’s house on Iron Mountain above Beisel’s property.
To retaliate for being denied access to Manitou streets, Beisel blocked access to a popular trail that crosses his property. The move angered hiking enthusiasts in the town.
The fight between Beisel and Manitou turned physical in August 2005 when Beisel confronted City Councilman Marc Snyder near the trail. Beisel said Snyder provoked the incident by trespassing, standing on a rock above Beisel’s house and singing loudly. Snyder denies he trespassed and accused Beisel of shoving, beating him and throwing him to the ground. Beisel denied the allegation but was convicted in August 2006 of misdemeanor assault and harassment.
Here is a photo of Snyder from the 2006 Voters Guide.
That conviction may be overturned due to an error by the trial court judge, Sylvia Manzanares. She failed to advise Beisel of his right to an attorney, according to District Attorney John Newsome, who has “confessed” the error to an appellate judge. Here is a photo of Manzanares from a state judicial web site and a photo of Newsome.