Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

7 Dec 2015

Trail on private property classified as a trespass by City official has an uncertain future

Posted by Adam Howell


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Last May, two boards with the City of Durango approved a controversial Natural Surface Trails Report that penned the intention to begin closing trails on city lands that were deemed as erosive illegal social trails.

This is a segment of the Falcon Trail that was erroneously marked for closure by Durango's Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall due to his incorrect classification of it as a trespass.

This is a segment of the Falcon Trail that was marked for closure by Durango’s Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall due to his classification of it as a trespass.

One of those closures includes pieces of the Falcon Trail coming off of Brown’s Ridge and Hog’s Back in Overend Mountain Park. The segments of Falcon Trail slated for closure by the City is, surprisingly, on private land owned by Anne C Klein Living Trust.

At the joint meeting between the two boards, Durango’s Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall said that the Falcon Trail segments were marked for closure due to their existence in locations outside of the easements that were given by the property owner.

“What we know is right now is we have a trespass of a trail leaving the City’s property into the private property is not an easement we were given for the trail,” said Hall. “If the property owner wants to work on a different alignment for a different easement and everyone is in agreement that’s the right thing to do, I think we would entertain that.”

A look at the segments of Falcon Trail that Hall marked for closure–and approved by the Boards–when compared with a plat map of easements provided by Anne Klein, shows that those marked for closure were not approved under the ten-foot-wide easement.

Klein would not answer any of this blogger’s questions on the record regarding the planned closures of trail segments on her property, or the management of land that she owns, but did provide the following quote:

“I look forward to hearing from the City of Durango and the Parks and Open Space Committee the plans they are proposing for my property and the rational behind them,” said Klein. “As the property owner, I deserve to be consulted and informed before decisions are made that will affect my land.”

This blogger, a Natural Lands Board member, plans to ask Hall and Durango’s Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz at the next meeting to reclassify the Falcon Trail segments on the City’s Natural Surface Trails Report as open to the public, and to avoid subjecting city employees to possible trespass situations where they are sent to close trails on Klein’s property.

Reference: Dedication of Trail Access, No. 653339

Instrument number for plat: 774943

Overend Mtn Park Map--photoshopped

This screenshot of the plat for the Falcon Trail on Anne Klein's property shows the trail easements.

This screenshot of the plat for the Falcon Heights Subdivision on Anne Klein’s property shows the Falcon Trail easement.

This trail layer on La Plata County GIS shows trails on Anne Klein's property that do not exist on Klein's map of the trail easement.

This trail layer on La Plata County GIS, in red-dashed lines, shows segments of the Falcon Trail on Anne Klein’s property that do not exist on the official plat of the trail easements that were documented for her land. As of January 6, 2016, two segments shown in the layers on this map have been deleted–probably because they were not approved as part of the trail easements on the plat for the property.

This screenshot from January 6, 2016 shows that segments of the Falcon Trail that existed in a layer of La Plata County GIS last week are now gone.

This screenshot from January 6, 2016 shows that segments of the Falcon Trail that existed in a layer of La Plata County GIS last week are now gone.

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3 Responses to “Trail on private property classified as a trespass by City official has an uncertain future”

  1. Adam, your reporting is confusing as well as incorrect. I’d prefer we not spend other Board members time in January trying to help you to understand what everyone else on the Board already understands. Please contact me and I will do my best to assist you in comprehending the details.

     

    Kevin Hall

  2. Kevin, I apologize for the mistakes made in earlier versions of this story.

    Please do not attempt to exclude any discussion of these trail closures at future Board meetings.

    It remains as a relevant and ongoing concern of mine, the property owner, and the community. In addition, I am a Board member with a report to give, which is outlined in the agenda every month.

     

    Adam Howell

  3. Thank you for the rewrite Adam. It appears you now understand the issue better and have accurately reflected it in your revised story.

    As previously discussed, you’ll have the opportunity to express your concerns to the NLPAB at the next meeting.

     

    Kevin Hall

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