Two big local developments regarding trails:
Ester Valley Trail Court Case Ends with an Agreement
This past week the court case regarding public access to the Ester Valley Trail ended with an agreement between the two parties that will eventually reroute the trail and allow for public access. The trail, which will be renamed, should be open to the public by fall/winter of 2025. It will be open for motorized use, though not highway vehicles.
Geoffrey Orth, the complainant who sued for public access, will have more info in about a week. He will also be starting webpage asking for donations to help recoup the costs of the lawsuit.
Trails Plan Referred to Platting Board
At last night’s meeting, the Fairbanks Borough Assembly voted to refer the Comprehensive Recreational Trails Plan update to the borough Platting Board with a recommendation due back no later than June 8.
The referral came with a couple of conditions. I won’t state them exactly since the meeting ran late (it recessed just before 1am) and it was contentious and often confusing, with lots of amendments atop of amendments. I will do a full blog post after I get the final wording from the borough clerk’s office.
Basically, the conditions were:
- To come up with a map that very clearly shows property lines and A and B trails from the plan so that people who own property across which those trails run can know where they are. (And where easements would be required if the property owners choose to subdivide.)
- Come up with three alternative routes for A and B trails running across those properties. (I especially want to see the final wording for this, as I am unclear as to whether this means alternative routes within the properties or around the properties.)
There were also a couple of other changes, the most significant of which were:
- The Ace Lakes Connector Trail (IC9 in the trails plan update) was removed from the plan. This trail has proven contentious. Some people have devised an informal reroute, which appears to be working for now. It might be added to the plan at a later date.
- The conceptual Nenana Uplands Forest Traverse Trail (IAR-9 in the plan) was rerouted to provide more of a buffer to neighboring private property.
I believe those are the most pertinent details. (And I believe I have relayed them correctly. I need time to look over my notes, but first I have to dig out!)
Note: The trails plan was only one contentious issue at the meeting, which is why it ran so late. The Assembly also passed the Capital Improvement Program but with significant amendments that caused lots of debate and often confusion. However, no trail projects were involved in that.