Claim: Town Right of Way Remains Intact Even if This Article Is Defeated.
If Article 7 is voted down, the Town conceded that the public right of use can be expected to be sustained, and would stand up to challenge in Court.
Ultimately this is true, but those challenges will cost potentially years of time lost and many thousands of dollars to fight in court. A property owner who refuses to sell, for example, could attempt to put up a fence or a basketball pole or a shed on the trail. The Town would then have to seek an injunction for them to stop building, which would then go through a court process to determine where the property owners’ rights end and the Town’s usage rights begin. In each case, the Town would likely win, given that the trail has been used by the public with no assertion of rights by the property owners for decades. However, property owners could force the Town to go through all of this up to 42 separate times to actually assert those claims. It is not as simple as saying the Town would prevail.