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Bicyclists, homeowners pack Oro Valley meeting

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 8.42.27 PMHundreds of people showed up to the Oro Valley town council meeting Wednesday to voice their opinion about continued access to the Honeybee trail system.

The homeowners association is asserting, what they say is, authority over a piece of land used by cyclists and hikers to access the trail system. According to the HOA they will close the access trail starting on Oct. 1.

While the issue was not officially on the agenda, bicycle advocate Damion Alexander organized an event for supporters to speak during the call to audience portion of the meeting.

So many people showed up that it was standing room only inside and many people had to stand outside during the meeting.

Several supporters of the trail spoke about the importance of the access point and the value it provides to community as a whole.

Speakers who live along the trail complained about noise and traffic outside their homes at all hours of the day. They also said that signage prohibiting night riding had been ignored, which led to the more drastic step of closing access completely.

Prior to the call the audience, an Oro Valley official stated in an update that Oro Valley has no jurisdiction over the land and can not force the HOA to provide access.

However a council member asked if the town could take it using eminent domain.

No official action can be taken on an issue not on the regular agenda, but the Oro Valley council said they would continue to speak with the HOA and bicyclists to work out a solution.

 

7 comments
Augsburg
Augsburg

The argument that night time use of the access/trail is cause for closing the access altogether is perfect.  By that logic, we should close public roads if someone speeds or fails to use their turn signal.  Perhaps we should barricade a crosswalk if someone jaywalks?  

VoiceofReason1
VoiceofReason1

@Augsburg That's not an apt analogy. The fair analogy would be the closure of a private road due to disrespectful use at night. 

This trail is on private land. The owners of that land are free to choose how it is used. It would be worthwhile for cyclists to be somewhat contrite in asking the owners to continue allowing the use. I sincerely doubt there would be much controversy so long as their requests were met.

galaxie5000
galaxie5000

@VoiceofReason1 @Augsburg Actually, the HOA must allow public access if in the original development plan, access was granted to the public, AS A CONDITION OF DEVELOPMENT. 

And 100 contrite runners, hikers, cyclists, and equestrians seem to have no standing against a few crochetty midwestern and California equity immigrants who bladed the desert and built retirement bunkers  on it.

Augsburg
Augsburg

@galaxie5000 @VoiceofReason1 @Augsburg I've been through property easement issues in my professional and private life.  An easement is a property right - in this case a right granted to the public.  The rights of the private property owner were transferred to the public as part of a binding legal process. 


If in fact, the public was granted an easement as a condition of development (assuming no restrictions), then the HOA would be hard pressed to show any legal prerogative to unilaterally close the access.  

VoiceofReason1
VoiceofReason1

There is a pretty substantial if associated there. Yes, I agree that of there is a platted and recorded public access easement in that location, that use should most likely be retained. However, there are many types of easements with varying applicability to the "public," as in public may mean among the shared owners of the HOA rather than public at large. There is not yet any clarity on if and what the easement is. It is difficult to villify the property owners until that data is known.

Pima County GIS maintains a very good database on the disposition of all property within the county, it would be wortb a look.

VoiceofReason1
VoiceofReason1

@VoiceofReason1 

Direct Link;

http://gis.pima.gov/maps/detail.cfm?P=21920284A

According to the final recorded plat Book 48, Page 61, Sequence# 96121064, shows that the access to the north from the subdivision to State land is Common Area "A" and also designated as Natural Open Space. It is possible that there are amendments I have not located or other documentation designating intended uses. But, from what I have seen none of the trails leading out of this subdivision are in fact easements and all rights of ownership and use appear to be retained by the HOA. There are federal statutes that forbid property owners from blocking access to National Forests. But, this isn't shared federal land to the north, and the federal government itself has badly damaged the enforcability of those statutes.


It would appear, absent a land surveyor and/or lawyer, that the homeowners do hold all of the cards here. In my estimation if there is a desire to continue to use this access, there should be a new approach in dealing with the homeowners.


I have access to land surveyors who for a nominal fee can do an analysis of the restrictions of the property, Notify me here if there is anything I can do.

Cite More Drivers
Cite More Drivers

@Augsburg In my opinion, the street outside the Honeybee neighborhood is noisy. The nighttime use is also obnoxious. I have even seen automobile drivers using headlights, which shine at people's houses and even windows!