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Bountiful Residents Voice Concerns Over City Trail System, Impacts On Private Properties

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Dozens of residents packed into a Bountiful fire station to discuss and voice concerns over the city’s master trails plan.

The plan includes more than 13 miles of paved and unpaved trails in and around the city, including the controversial Creekside Trail. The path would cost an estimated $2.39 million and, if approved, would cut through several private properties in the heart of Bountiful.

“I’m against it. It goes through my property and the reason I bought there is privacy,” said one of the dozens of speakers and neighbors who packed into South Davis Metro Fire Station 81 Tuesday night. “We own the property there. How would feel mayor if I wanted to come do something to your backyard and I was making plans…not too good, right?”

Those are the kinds of concerns and questions neighbors dished out to Mayor Randy Lewis and city councilmembers who were considering whether to adopt the Bountiful City Trails Master plan.

“You say the city doesn’t have eminent domain to take the property from me, but you can’t do the trail system without my permission. So, I can answer you right now, I do not give you permission,” one woman said, followed by cheers from the crowd.

Still, many people expressed support for the plan to add trails to the outskirts of Bountiful, including a mountain biking team.

“We strongly support the development of trails in the foothills,” a woman said, adding that she didn’t have much of an opinion on the Creekside Trail.

A mountain biker added her concern that her parents have to drive her long distances just to get to the trailheads.

“I think having this trail in Bountiful will help a lot of people to get there faster and also open our variety of trails that we can bike on,” the seventh-grader said.

A man who was in a wheelchair added his concern that the master plan did not mention whether “the trailhead was going to be accessible to off-road adaptive equipment, such as I have an off-road wheelchair.”

Most who attended approved of the plan for additional foothill trails. But the Creekside Trail came up again and again, prompting one resident to ask, “Why don’t we just take [the Creekside trail] out of the plan. It’ll never happen.”

Ultimately, city officials decided to postpone the vote until Nov. 12.