Plano Neighborhood Fights Potential Walking Trail

By Catherine Ross
|  Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011  |  Updated 5:32 PM CDT
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Plano is planning to add public trails in the neighborhoods around Chase Oaks Golf Club but people there say

Catherine Ross/Plano Journalist

Plano is planning to add public trails in the neighborhoods around Chase Oaks Golf Club but people there say "not in our backyards."

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Plano Parks and Recreation officials say there is a huge demand in the city for new walking trails.

However, residents in the Chase Oaks Homeowners Association are fighting back against a plan to add a public trail adjacent to their backyards.

"It's right outside my back door,” said Brian Bullock.

The city plans to extend a walking path about twelve feet from Bullock’s back gate into a full-fledged trail during the time Chase Oaks Golf Course is closed for renovations.

It’s part of a city plan to better connect its 70 miles of public trail space.

"We just need to get from point A to point B. We need some way to connect this trail," said chief park planner Robin Reeves.

The city expects between 50 and 100 people will use the trail every day once it’s completed.

However, homeowners are uncomfortable by the idea of pedestrians in such proximity to their property.

"I don't know how many people would be excited about having strangers, essentially, walking through their back yard,” said Bullock.

The city, however, addresses those safety concerns with what it calls success in other similar developments.

"What we hear from other homeowners is that they actually like having the trail behind their home once they have it,” said Reeves.

“The extra traffic tends to discourage unwanted activity, so ultimately, and there is some national research to support that trails actually decrease crime."

The Chase Oaks homeowners are also worried that the loss of privacy will negatively impact property values for the 19 homes that border the golf course.

They also voice concern over pedestrian safety so close to flying golf balls.

"The proposed trail location is very close to the golf course fairway,” said Bullock. "An errant golf ball will hit a pedestrian sooner than later."

The Plano Parks and Recreation Department will address these concerns on November 8.

Reeves says they are open to suggestions of alternate paths for the project.

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