1. Why do we have pathways?
Other communities have sidewalks to encourage circulation between neighborhoods and to keep people safely off the pavement. To preserve the rural atmosphere, the Town's founders insisted on one acre minimums as well as a network of paths for walking and riding.
Pathways serve four important functions:
- Safe circulation throughout the community
- Alternative routes in emergencies
- Outdoor recreation/fitness
- Preservation of the Town's open character
(Pathways Element 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
Many of the Town's paths were established during the subdivision process. Easements were granted and/or paths were built as part of the infrastructure for a subdivision. Today, as properties come up for major development or redevelopment, owners are asked for one or more of the following: to dedicate an easement and build a path; pay a pathway fee, dedicate an easement for a future pathway.
(Pathways Element 107)
The Town occasionally decides to build a path or a very long segment of path. In that case the project would be a Capital Improvement Project. Pathway fees would be tapped to pay for the project. Money from the Town's general fund and/or grant funds might also be used.
(Pathways Element 4.2 and 4.6)
3. Does the Town build paths on private property?
If the Town builds a path as a Capital Improvement Project, homeowners along the route are not assessed or required to pay anything unless or until a major development or redevelopment of the property occurs. At that time, the owners will be charged a pathway fee.
(Pathways Element 4.7)
The Town only builds paths within the road right-of-way or within pathway easements. Obstructions on either type of set-aside are not allowed. Homeowners are responsible for keeping pathways easements and road rights-of-way clear of all landscaping, watering systems, buildings and debris.4. Can a homeowner donate a pathway easement voluntarily?
(Pathways Element 4.1 and Municipal Code 10-2.607)
Yes, voluntary easements can be accepted by City Council resolution and may have favorable tax consequences for the donor.5. How is a pathway fee calculated?
(Pathways Element 107)
The fee is $53.00 per linear foot of the average width of the property. The Town's engineering staff makes the calculation. In the recent past, pathway fees for developing a typical parcel have been about $11,000.6. Who maintains the paths?
(Municipal Code 10-2.608)
Once paths built by homeowners receive final approval and are opened to the public, the Town is responsible for maintenance. Homeowners are encouraged to maintain paths on their own properties.7. Who is liable for injuries that may occur on pathways?
(Link to Pathways Element 1.6)
Generally speaking, public agencies and private property owners have very broad immunity from trail-user lawsuits. Please refer liability questions to the City Manager.8. What is the role of the Pathways Committee?
(Government Code Section 831.4)
All site development plans that may require a contribution to the pathway system are sent to the Pathways Committee (PWC) for review. Property owners and developers are encouraged to attend PWC meetings to learn about the Town's pathway policies and to provide input about their project. The PWC visits the site and makes a recommendation based on Town policies and ordinances. The recommendation is sent to the Planning Department for possible inclusion in conditions of development for the project. The PWC is an advisory body only, and their recommendations are subject to review and approval by the Planning Director, Planning Commission and City Council.9. What is the Master Path Plan?
(Charter for Pathways Committee)
The Master Path Plan (MPP) is a set of documents and maps that outline where pathways could be built in the future. The MPP is the Town's long-term vision for development of the pathways system.
(Pathways Element 4.1)