I don't use the Trails. Why should I care?

Discussion for or against purchasing the 30 acres of Trails behind the Forest
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:11 am
Location: Tennessee

I don't use the Trails. Why should I care?

Post by Developer »

I've gotten lots of calls from people who say they don't use the Trails and so, they figure, none of this makes any difference to them.

For the folks who don't use their land at all, and who also don't care if the property values go down, I guess they'd be right. But for the benefit of everyone else, I'd like to point out a few things you might have overlooked.

A lot of Rose Lake Forest property owners have trail bikes and four-wheelers. They like to ride, and they bought their place in the Forest so they'd have a place to do that. For many years the place they've been riding is on my family's land, the Trails (Parcels A and B). I don't blame them. We never posted it No Trespassing, and most of them probably thought it was part of the Forest. They used it because everyone has always used it.

If these good people suddenly find themselves unable to use the Trails, do you suppose they'll decide they didn't really much like to ride anyway? Will they just sell their ORVs and buy a bigger TV?

No, they will do one of two things:
  1. Sell their land and go somewhere else.
  2. Stay in the Forest, and find somewhere else to ride.

Let's look at these options, and see what they might mean to you.
Option 1: A Bunch of People Decide to Sell

At first glance you might think, "Good, they're leaving. I never did like those loud, obnoxious trail bikes anyway. Good riddance." Or maybe you don't use your property at all, and have decided to sell it, so what does it matter?

Consider this: Does a whole bunch of lots suddenly going up for sale make it easier, or harder for you to sell your property? With more lots to choose from, is a prospective buyer more or less likely to choose yours? Will prospective buyers also have trail bikes and four-wheelers they want to ride, and will they choose not to buy because there's nowhere to ride them? And if everyone wants to sell at once, what does that do to the property values? Will your land be worth more, or less?
I don't think I need to answer any of these questions for you. Once you stop and consider the questions, the answers are pretty obvious.
Option 2: Somewhere Else to Ride

Is there somewhere else these folks can ride? Yes, actually there is.

Nearly every lot in the Forest has park/greenbelt behind or beside it, separating your lot from your neighbor's property at the back. These parks are actually, legally owned in-common by all the Rose Lake Forest property owners. If you add up all the parks in the Forest, they come to just over 120 acres. When my dad laid out these parks, he did it with hikers and trail bikes in mind. The parks all have access to county road, and usually one park's access is near or directly across the road from the next park's access, making a continuous string of park on which people can ride. Here's a map that makes it easy to see how these parks are laid out:
Rose Lake Forest Parks
Rose Lake Forest Parks
map_rlf_parks.gif (117.79 KiB) Viewed 8263 times
Now look at the string of parks on the map, and notice how a rider could start at the Entrance to the Forest and, going through the parks, get to almost any place in the Forest. In places he'd have to cross a road, and maybe even go down the road a hundred feet or so, before riding into the next park. As long as the rider stays in the Greenbelt, as a RLF property owner he is entitled by law to ride in any and all of those areas.

I believe the biggest reason the property owners have not made trails through these parks is because they had a great place to ride where there were already plenty of trails. Making a new trail is not as easy as using an existing one, but it isn't hard. The hardest part is figuring out where the property lines are. After that, once you ride a trail bike through the same spot in the woods a dozen times or so, poof! you have a trail.

As I've stated in other places on this Forum, I have a computer map of all the plats which makes it pretty easy to find corners and property lines. I'll make this available to any property owner who asks.

This isn't any kind of threat or blackmail. I'm not saying, "Buy my land, or hoards of trail bikes will be riding around in back of your property." All I'm doing is reporting the reality of this situation. The property owners have always had the right to ride through the park at the back of your property. Up until now they have not used that right, but only because people tend to be lazy. Any property owner can decide to start using these parks at any time, regardless of whether or not the Association buys the Trails from me.
I looked over all the plats, and I found exactly eight lots that do not touch one of these parks. If you own one of those eight lots, then you might be right in thinking this issue does not effect you.

So there you have it. At least two good reasons I can think of that make this an issue everyone should be concerned with. Discussion anyone?
Gregory Wood
Trustee for PRTC Trust, Developer
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