TID Hikers vs. Home Owner Issue Not That Close to A Compromise — What Will the City Do?
Thoughts from one hiker who is waiting for the city to act:
Further thoughts on the Grandview TID ditch North end trail access issue:
It is possible, and seems more likely with each encounter, that the owner, Mary Chilton, is creating a situation where the city will be required to step in and acquire the piece of property in question that provides public access to the North end of the TID ditch trail off Grandview. At first, I thought that the concerns that Mary through her husband Rick McGraph conveyed to John Darling when he interviewed Rick for his article in the Daily Tidings and the Mail Tribune were valid concerns. Rick spoke of concerns about liability and about threats from “public persons, perhaps one in a thousand” to them because the public had access through their property. Now, I’m beginning to believe that those are red herrings, and that the real motive behind the “No Parking Any Time” and the threats of trespass charges and having cars towed have all been intended to get trail walkers distressed enough that they would demand that the city of Ashland reclaim this land for the public by paying Mary and Rick something for it. All of these signs started up after Mary had a survey done, and then was told by the Planning Department that she could not subdivide her property.
Today, I measured the section of the property that is comprised in the parking area. That measures on average 30’ deep by 90’ long, so 2700 square feet. Mary’s property extends a bit down the trail, so maybe an additional 100 square feet = 2800 square feet. I think it would be worth figuring out what portion of her property this 2800 square feet comprises. Should the city decide to offer some money in exchange for this portion of the property, perhaps to designate it as part of the “open space” that the city has as one of its goals, the value of the property would need to be determined. Since it is not possible to subdivide, nor build, nor in any way improve this 2800 square foot portion, that would reduce its market value. An appraisal should take this into account.
I plan to bring this issue before the city council in the near future. Until then, I hope that the public, who have long enjoyed access to the ditch trail through this parking area, will continue to exercise their right to this easement.
Sherri Morgan Sept. 2, 2017