Hiking trails are usually measured in miles, but the Farmington City Council could mark the path it took to finally adopt a master-trails plan in years - five of them.
On Wednesday night, the council adopted its conceptual plan for hiking and equestrian trails in the city.The approval of the trails plan is subject to the council's future approval of a revised trail map that shows the latest changes.
Mayor Greg Bell said the council is well aware that drawing lines creates expectations and burdens on area landowners.
"It is my opinion that drawing a trail is not a taking," he said, explaining the thrust of the plan is to preserve natural features and access to the foothills.
Bell said he would prefer to avoid any use of land condemnation for trails in the future, but there could be rare situations where one property owner might be holding out and halting public access.
He said city leaders are obligated to create master plans. The city's new plan looks at providing reasonable public access, while protecting the rights of land-owners.
"The devil is in the details," he said.
The council had struggled with trails on the city's south side, which has narrow, rugged canyons, as well as concerned landowners who didn't want lines for trails drawn on maps.
Here's a brief synopsis of what the new trails plans contains:
- Steed Creek: Near 200 South, a trail here will be more of a parkway that only goes across existing county property. It will probably be a looping path.
The council agreed the area is too steep and narrow for a trail here that connects with Forest Service land.
- Lower Davis Creek: Located between the I-15 Frontage Road and 200 East Street, a proposed trail here would follow a dike near the stream channel.
- Upper Davis Creek: For the area above 200 East Street, a sidewalk path only is envisioned to the firebreak (pipeline) road. The actual channel of Davis Creek is too steep and rugged for a trail. Once development in that area occurs, the council would strive to preserve access to Forest Service property.
- Lund Lane: A trail here would likely go to the firebreak (pipeline) road, but not above that point.
- West Farmington: For equestrian access, no trails would cross overpasses. However, a trail near 500 S. 1100 West is mentioned as going to Glover's Lane along the stream channel.