Tempe squatter: ‘I’m not against progress. I’m just against them screwing with me . . .’

SquatterBy Richard Ruelas | The Republic

Steve Sussex knows he won’t be able to stay forever on the land his family has lived on for more than a century. He realized that as soon as the city filled the dry riverbed at the end of the property with water and called it Tempe Town Lake.

He knew the land where he grew up and would later fill with the cars, boats and other vehicles he loved to tinker with — giving the parcel the look of a junkyard — would probably make way for development.

But Sussex, who has waged a decade-long battle with state and city governments over the valuable patch of land near downtown Tempe, said he wants to leave on terms he can tolerate.

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