The question of whether a local historic route known as the Granby Trail is public or private won't be decided by the Board of County Commissioners. The BoCC voted that it would take no position in the matter of whether the route from Coalby Canyon to the Granby Reservoirs is the county's.
Staff research turned up "no direct evidence of a legal, public document" establishing the trail as a county road.
Earlier this year a resident of Cedaredge raised the issue when he decided to ride his horse on the Granby Trail. He had heard about it from friends and found it on maps.
Once on the route he encountered locked gates and "No Trespassing" signs. He went to the county with a question: Is the trail public or isn't it?
A community meeting convened Sept. 8 by the Board of Commissioners was attended by some 30 people including lifelong residents of the area, family members, public lands users, irrigators, people with historical knowledge of the area and current property owners.
Government maps dating as early as 1912 and 1908 show the Granby Trail, the commissioners were told. It was historically used for moving cattle and for other economic enterprise. It was said that in years past, perhaps on more than one occasion, the county cut locks and removed gates that had been blocked the route.
There is now a residential development in the area and the trail crosses what private parcels of land. The trail has been closed at various times and is gated now, it was reported.
It was said the Granby Trail route was the subject of two county road petitions, the earliest in 1906, and thus the trail is county-owned. Some added that the county still owns the trail unless it has been officially vacated. Old county road petitions do not show up in residential title searches, an attorney at the Sept. 8 meeting said. "You have the making here of a fine lawsuit that could go on for quite a little while," the attorney said.
The county had been asked by some individuals to open the trail; others at the Sept. 8 meeting simply wanted to know the legal status of the trail. Homeowners bought property there expecting privacy, and they now fear that hikers, horseback riders and ATVs would disturb the peace if the Granby Trail was permanently opened.
Although the county has no ownership interest in the trail, others are not precluded from seeking legal remedies if they want to try and have the route declared a public thoroughfare.blog comments powered by Disqus