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Trail easement, realignment for Surrey Trail approved


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK – The Cave Creek Town Council unanimously approved a trail easement on Nov. 7 that will realign a portion of the Surrey Trail that is located in the Canyon Ridge Estates Subdivision after negotiating for nearly five years with property owners.

The approval of the trail easement and realignment was made possible from a dedication from the property owners, Richard and Sheryl Sheiner, who are residents of Chicago. Their easement grant will allow the Surrey Trail to be located entirely on their land parcel. This simple realignment will provide critical trail connections from the Surrey Trail to the town’s trail system, as well as the surrounding regional and state trail systems while providing a safer route, according to trail easement documents. 

“Staff is appreciative of the property owners’ cooperation in bringing this project to fruition for the common good of the community,” said the town’s planning director, Ian Cordwell, in a Memorandum to the town council.

Once the realignment is constructed, it will provide a safer trail that causes less environmental damage, and provides connections to the town’s trail system, Desert Foothills Land Trust trails, State Trust Land trails, and Cave Creek Regional Park trails, Cordwell said in the memo.

However, while most residents spoke out in favor of the realignment, Alisa McMahon, who owns the lot adjacent lot to the Sheiners’ property in Canyon Ridge Estates, urged the town council to vote against the easement. Her lot is currently vacant and she is not a resident of Cave Creek; she claims that relocating the trail is a breach of contract and expands the trail use, which impedes on her property rights.

“I urge you to use caution with this, “said McMahon during the Nov. 7 meeting.

She says that the Canyon Ridge Estates Board of Directors vote approving the relocation of the trail was not valid and only a few members of the community were present.

Ernie Weaver, a resident of Cave Creek, for over 30 years spoke in favor of the trail easement relocation, saying those opposed to it were because “they want to restrict mountain bikers.”

However, a board representative of Canyon Ridge Estates was present for the meeting on Nov. 7, and spoke on behalf of the community in favor of the trail relocation.

“We whole-heartedly support the trail easement agreement,” he said. “We look forward to a timely completion.”