Webb board agrees to unprecedented easements on snowmobile Trail 5

The Town of Webb Board passed three resolutions Tuesday to allow the owners of three individual properties to create driveway entrances across Snowmobile Trail Number Five to land they own on the west side of Route 28, north of Old Forge in the vicinity of Fourth Lake.

This action by the board is unprecedented.

Requests of this nature have come before the board for decades, but to this point the board has been reluctant to allow the possible loss of control over the quality of Trail Five, a main snowmobile thoroughfare, by allowing bisection to adjacent land—much of which is undevelopable.

The three properties relating to the current action are owned by Donald Gooley, David Gribneau and John Johnson.

The board was petitioned most recently on the property owners’ behalf by attorney Mark Levitt on Tuesday, November 13.

Since then Town of Webb attorney Richard Frye has been working to craft an acceptable agreement between the town and the three property owners to accommodate the property owners request and to establish an updated policy regarding easements on Trail Five.

Newly discovered documents provided the impetus for the efforts. 

These documents describe the specific ownership of the Trail Five land by the town, having had it bequeathed by its former owner, the railroad—and the town’s implied responsibilities.

In approving the easements, the board was not unanimous, with Councilman J.B. Herron voting in opposition.

Herron cited several reasons for his “no” vote, but said it was the totality of the case against easements that caused him to vote against them.

Herron emphasized, however, that he is a believer in property rights and the decision to oppose the Trail Five easements was not an easy one.

The resolution adopted by the board does allow for case by case review of future easement requests.

It also requires each of the three property owners that have been awarded easements to pay consideration to the town in the amount of $1,000.

Also stipulated is that the residential driveways amount to a subservient use of the land.

The land’s primary function is as a snowmobile trail.


Share Button