Winter 2014 pg4

Your “Path” is Still Included…

Some Clarity on Trails

The Planning Commission’s change encourages well maintained and accessible parks and trails; eliminating and unfunded goal with the potential to harm property owners.

There has been much ado about nothing regarding the planning commission’s decision to change the language about trails in the Open Space element of the general plan. The reality is that we all want trails, for all types of users. The planning commission has clarified a piece of the general plan that had the potential to be misinterpreted and adversely impact property owners and that would have limited the kinds of people that could use county trails. HumCPR supports these changes.

Specifically, the language in the Open Space Element was changed from:

  • CO-G4. Parks and Recreation. Well maintained and accessible parks offering a range of popular recreation opportunities and a countywide trail system that meets future recreational and non-motorized transportation needs.

To:

  • CO-G4. Parks and Recreation. ENCOURAGE well maintained and accessible parks AND TRAILS offering a range of popular recreation opportunities.

The Planning Commission’s change encourages well maintained and accessible parks and trails; eliminating an unfunded goal that was inconsistent with the rest of the plan. HumCPR is aware of several counties across the nation claiming eminent domain on private lands to build trails with
arguments based in their open space elements. The Commission’s decision to clarify this section of the element reduces the possibility of the Open Space Element being misinterpreted and misused into the future.

Additionally, the concept of a regional trail system remains in dozens of more appropriate places within the General Plan. There is currently an entire section pertaining to bicycle and pedestrian travel with fourteen policies.

It’s very unfortunate that these facts have been completely misrepresented by Supervisor Lovelace in his recent public comment. Predictably the news and blogs have been clogged with misleading information about this decision, for the most part directly presented by Supervisor Lovelace in a county wide media blitz. Supervisor Lovelace has stated in multiple formats that the planning commission has removed the concept of a county wide trail system from the general plan. This is a completely false statement used to incite his base to overwhelm the planning commission meetings, going so far as to suggest that “torches and pitchforks might be in order”. Lovelace’s political spin campaign is obviously designed to be inflammatory and divisive.

HumCPR applauds the Planning Commission for removing the irrelevant language in the Open Space Element, clarifying the section and protecting the rights of property owners and trail advocates alike.

 

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