Alta Sierra trail ditched
The future of trails in Alta Sierra are on the line after the Alta Sierra Property Owners Association voted unanimously to abandon a trail project after hearing neighborhood protests.
The recreation trail that would have followed a 1969 easement along Rattlesnake Creek caused an uproar among property owners who felt it would bring criminals to their backyards and rob them of their privacy.
“This sets the precedent for all trails in Alta Sierra,” said Trails and Recreation Coordinator Mark Larroque. Larroque was one of three ASPOA board members not present at Monday’s board meeting.
The development has an estimated 5,000 residents, but no public parks.
Six board members cast their vote one week after meeting with residents living in Alta Sierra Estates Twenty, a subdivision that lies within Alta Sierra and surrounds Rattlesnake Creek on Stinson and Ball roads. Nearly 70 homeowners staked signs in their yard in protest of the trail.
“After hearing what residents had to say about it, we figured it was better not to pursue it,” ASPOA President Joe Mayer said.
Without the support of the board, there will be no money to survey the easement and property lines, the first step required to build the trail, Larroque said.
People fear voicing support
Larroque criticized the property owners who oppose the trail and the association’s board for being irresponsible. He said property owners were aware of the easement when they purchased their homes, and the board didn’t follow its duty to enforce the restrictions of the easement.
Some who supported the trail quietly sent letters in favor of the project but were afraid to speak up.
“The problem is, no one wants to be a political target,” Larroque said.
Six months ago, the ASPOA sent out informal surveys to residents questioning their views of developing recreational trails in Alta Sierra.
As many as 90 percent voted in favor of trails, yet among the 70 property owners living near the proposed Rattlesnake Creek trail, 90 percent said they were opposed to a trail in their neighborhood, Mayer said.
Similar opposition was voiced when a trail was planned for Brewer Road near Alta Sierra Elementary School. The trail was built and is now used by joggers, dog walkers and school children.
Although the board voted not to develop the trail along Rattlesnake Creek, the easement remains in place.
“Legally they can’t keep you off that property,” Mayer said.
To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4231.
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