RR: Saving the Greenbelt

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Carla A-G, Apr 25, 2003.

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  1. Carla A-G

    Carla A-G Guest

    Developers suck. Developers suck big-time. Here is the situation that we are currently facing with a
    section of the Greenbelt:

    A developer wants to put 9 houses on the area we now ride south of the LIRR tracks. If this goes as
    planned we will lose the part of the trail known as railroad hill. The developer's plans are to cut
    down all the trees and excavate the entire hill to build a court for 9 luxury homes. He will
    supposedly be building a retaining wall to hold back the rest of the hill. The trail runs right
    through where he plans to build. We are currently working on stopping the project or to come to an
    easement. The developer has threatened to booby trap his portion of land where the trail runs
    through in order to prevent mountainbikers and hikers from going on his property. This is
    unacceptable. This chunk of property was purchased by the developer from the state many years ago,
    but it was never developed and the trail existed on the land prior to the sale.

    A few of us decided to get together for a survey ride of the chunk of land. Jim, myself, Mike,
    Frankie Froglegs and Dennis D-Mac met up at the Bethpage parking lot and rode from Bethpage
    straight up to the Greenbelt, about an 18 or so mile ride. This was the first time Jim and myself
    rode the Greenbelt in a couple of months. We noticed that it had been carved up from a bad winter
    and the ATV'rs. Frankie led most of the ride, the pace was quick, as usual. Mike invited us into a
    section of the Greenbelt known as West Hills, where he has been working on cutting in a new trail,
    only about 1/4 of it was complete but he showed us what he planned to do with it. For now, it was
    a secret...

    We eventually arrived at the section of hill. It had all been marked off and tagged to show to
    dividing sections of land. We got to work surveying the land and figuring out possible re-routes of
    the trail. This is going to be a big project, the developer didn't leave us with comforting thoughts
    of the amount of work that will be involved in fixing up the mess that he will be creating. Mike
    brought along his altimeter/measuring device to check out he sloping of the land. According to IMBA,
    10% is the optimal grade that a trail should run in order to prevent erosion of the slope. The
    problem with this hill is that it was running 20% and up...what to do, what to do...no decisions
    were made, afterall, this was only a survey ride. While we were standing around and discussing,
    looked up to see a red tailed hawk in flight. It came down and landed on a tree branch right above
    us. I believe it was an omen from the trail gods. The hawk came down onto the ground and landed
    several feet from us. We all stood in awe and watched its beautiful presence. It stood there
    watching us for a few minutes then took to flight.

    The guys decided to check another little section of trail while I waited by the bikes. I heard a
    knock, knock, knock, knock, on a tree nearby. I looked up to find where the knocking was coming
    from...it was a woodpecker doing its job in a tree that I was standing beside. I watched it for the
    longest time while I waited for the guys to make their return. I had never seen a woodpecker in
    action. I stood there in awe. I believe this was another omen from the trail gods. The guys returned
    and noticed me looking up at the tree, mesmerized. They all looked up to see what I was looking at.
    We all stood, mesmerized, watching the woodpecker doing its job...

    Our surveying came to an end. We rode back to the cars. We only made some preliminary decisions as
    to what approach to take. We will be requiring the help of many hands and IMBA in order to resolve
    the problem we now face.

    I will continue to post updates about this situation...

    - CA-G

    Can-Am Girls Kick Ass!
     
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  2. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    Carla A-G wrote:

    > We eventually arrived at the section of hill. It had all been marked off and tagged to show to
    > dividing sections of land. We got to work surveying the land and figuring out possible re-routes
    > of the trail. This is going to be a big project, the developer didn't leave us with comforting
    > thoughts of the amount of work that will be involved in fixing up the mess that he will be
    > creating. Mike brought along his altimeter/measuring device to check out he sloping of the land.
    > According to IMBA, 10% is the optimal grade that a trail should run in order to prevent erosion of
    > the slope. The problem with this hill is that it was running 20% and up...what to do, what to
    > do...no decisions were made, afterall, this was only a survey ride.

    Surely switchbacks of some description would be the obvious answer.

    <snip>

    Good luck.

    --
    a.m-b FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/ambfaq.htm

    b.bmx FAQ: http://www.t-online.de/~jharris/bmx_faq.htm
     
  3. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    Carla A-G wrote:
    > Developers suck. Developers suck big-time. Here is the situation that we are currently facing with
    > a section of the Greenbelt:
    >

    this kind of thing sucks... we have a similar situation here, historical use of a trail; developer
    wants to build gated community... here's what's going on here, maybe there's something you can glean
    to use at your spot. some of the issues that have come up for our area: city had originally platted
    for roads (public access) back in 1910 or so. Geologist's report indicates instability Discussion
    under way to maybe use conservation futures $$ to purchase land for city open space neighbor
    opposition to development...

    anyway here's the link for you, just for ideas. http://www.saveourbluff.org/

    good luck

    Penny
     
  4. Carla A-G

    Carla A-G Guest

    "Penny S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > this kind of thing sucks... we have a similar situation here, historical
    use
    > of a trail; developer wants to build gated community... here's what's going on here, maybe there's
    > something you can glean to use
    at
    > your spot. some of the issues that have come up for our area: city had originally platted for
    > roads (public access) back in 1910 or so. Geologist's report indicates instability Discussion
    > under way to maybe use conservation futures $$ to purchase land for city open space neighbor
    > opposition to development...
    >
    > anyway here's the link for you, just for ideas. http://www.saveourbluff.org/
    >
    > good luck

    Thanks, I will advise the guys of this.

    - CA-G

    Can-Am Girls Kick Ass!
     
  5. Carla A-G

    Carla A-G Guest

    "bomba" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Surely switchbacks of some description would be the obvious answer.

    Yes, that is our best option, switchbacks with natural retaining walls and benching.

    - CA-G

    Can-Am Girls Kick Ass!
     
  6. Tom Walker

    Tom Walker Guest

    "Carla A-G" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > Developers suck.<

    A very similar thing happened here just north of Boston in Lynn Woods. Lynn Woods is a pretty big
    place but one VERY popular section of trail called Bow Ridge was basically destroyed by developers.
    It was a technical playground with tons of rocks and drops that had become a local mountain bike
    haven. Much of the trail is still there, technically, its just that you can't get to it because of
    the luxury homes parker where the trail used to be.

    In our case, NEMBA worked really closely with the Park Ranger (who was equally disappointed by the
    development) to find another section of the park to create another kick ass trail. I haven't ridden
    it yet but from what I hear its even better than the Ridge.

    Its terribly ironic to me that these people are paying tons of money to build a huge, characterless
    house next to a forest but they have to wreck the forest to put the house there.

    [email protected]'dthetrailsgo.com
     
  7. John G

    John G Guest

    Tom Walker wrote:
    > In our case, NEMBA worked really closely with the Park Ranger (who was equally disappointed by the
    > development) to find another section of the park to create another kick ass trail. I haven't
    > ridden it yet but from what I hear its even better than the Ridge.

    It _-IS-_, get there and ride it!!!!!
     
  8. Carla A-G wrote:
    > Developers suck. Developers suck big-time. Here is the situation that we are currently facing with
    > a section of the Greenbelt:
    >
    <snip>
    > I will continue to post updates about this situation...
    >
    > - CA-G
    >
    > Can-Am Girls Kick Ass!

    Ever think of going the endangered species way? I bet you there's some endangered species somewhere
    in that development. Other than that, easements are the way to go. You might see if you could call
    the developer to task for threatening bodily injury (IE, Booby traps) to hikers and bikers.

    Good luck!

    Jon Bond
     
  9. Gabrielle

    Gabrielle Guest

    On Fri, 25 Apr 2003 07:38:02 -0700, Carla A-G wrote:

    > Developers suck. Developers suck big-time. Here is the situation that we are currently facing with
    > a section of the Greenbelt:

    It sounds like this is going to be a _huge_ retaining wall. Huge retaining walls scare me.

    Note: I am not an architect or engineer, I'm just throwing out an idea based on stuff I've heard
    and experienced.

    If you have things like city planning commission meetings where this stuff gets reviewed and
    "concerned neighbors" (ahem) are allowed to contribute, here are some points to bring up:

    - height of the retaining wall [Side note: There is a law here (Central OR) about retaining
    walls. I'm not sure what-all exactly it applies to, just know an orchardist friend of mine is
    dealing with it right now. You are not allowed to build more than 4 feet of height per year,
    apparently to allow the soil etc to settle in behind it.]

    - effect of digging the retaining wall on the surrounding slope

    - erosion from the retaining wall into nearby streams

    - effect of digging the retaining wall on the slope _above_ it. Digging something huge like what
    I'm picturing from your description could seriously destabilize the slope and any houses above
    it. Portland OR would be a good place to check for info about this.

    I know this doesn't help your trail issue directly but this might slow the guy down. If you make it
    too expensive for them to continue, sometimes you can stop the developments from going in.

    HTH gabrielle
     
  10. Carla A-G

    Carla A-G Guest

    "gabrielle" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > On Fri, 25 Apr 2003 07:38:02 -0700, Carla A-G wrote:
    >
    > > Developers suck. Developers suck big-time. Here is the situation that we are currently facing
    > > with a section of the Greenbelt:
    >
    > It sounds like this is going to be a _huge_ retaining wall. Huge retaining walls scare me.
    >
    > Note: I am not an architect or engineer, I'm just throwing out an idea based on stuff I've heard
    > and experienced.
    >
    > If you have things like city planning commission meetings where this stuff gets reviewed and
    > "concerned neighbors" (ahem) are allowed to contribute, here are some points to bring up:
    >
    > - height of the retaining wall [Side note: There is a law here (Central OR) about retaining
    > walls. I'm not sure what-all exactly it applies to, just know an orchardist friend of mine
    > is dealing with it right now. You are not allowed to build more than 4 feet of height per
    > year, apparently to allow the soil etc to settle in behind it.]
    >
    > - effect of digging the retaining wall on the surrounding slope
    >
    > - erosion from the retaining wall into nearby streams
    >
    > - effect of digging the retaining wall on the slope _above_ it. Digging something huge like
    > what I'm picturing from your description could seriously destabilize the slope and any
    > houses above it. Portland OR would be a good place to check for info about this.
    >
    > I know this doesn't help your trail issue directly but this might slow the guy down. If you make
    > it too expensive for them to continue, sometimes you can stop the developments from going in.

    Thanks, I will keep this in mind.

    - CA-G

    Can-Am Girls Kick Ass!
     
  11. "Carla A-G" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > The trail runs right through where he plans to build. We are currently working on stopping the
    > project or to come to an easement. The developer has threatened to booby trap his portion of land
    > where the trail runs through in order to prevent mountainbikers and hikers from going on his
    > property. This is unacceptable.

    It's also illegal. Instead of booby traps, why doesn't he put up a fence?

    > This chunk of property was purchased by the developer from the state many years ago, but it was
    > never developed and the trail existed on the land prior to the sale.

    If you can, get a lawyer to see if you can get the trail turned over to the public, since leaving it
    open for 10 years might make it eligible for an easement by prescription.

    -Apr
     
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