Don’t close cart paths, but police them better

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My comments are about the growing controversy over the cart path in the Edgewater subdivision.

The owners at 208 Edgewater want the cart path removed from their property. They are complaining about strangers going through their subdivision, drug deals, speeding teenagers, and even people walking their dogs on the path.

The owners’ claim that the easement is a private pedestrian easement. It isn’t. It is a public right of way easement. Every connecting path in our path system is on a public right of way easement. This is the only way the system works. Otherwise, private owners could dictate who could and couldn’t use every neighborhood path.

These easements are usually established by express grant in the sales contract. City Ordinance Section 406 requires public right of way easement in the deed before the city will issue a final property plat for a developer to sell.

Also, If the easement has been used and maintained for seven uninterrupted years as a public right of way, then a public right of way easement is established by prescription. Rogue path or not, this path has been used and maintained by the city for decades. I have maps that prove it.

Last, almost every cul-de-sac in Peachtree City by design has a cart path connector. We can imply that the Edgewater path is on a cul-de-sac and is designed like other cul-de-sacs: with a cart path. This is a third way the law establishes a public right of way easement: by implication. The disputed cart path is a legally established public right of way in multiple ways.

The only way the path can be removed is if the city abandons the easement. But, for what public good and by what criteria would the city abandon a public right of way?

Abandoning this easement will enable hundreds of requests for abandonment because owners don’t like the traffic. It is a public right of way. It is a road. If you don’t want the traffic, don’t buy the property. This may lead to extensive and unnecessary litigation. It may eventually destroy Peachtree City’s number one amenity.

The way to mitigate their complaint is better policing of the paths, not closing them.

David Richardson

Peachtree City, Ga.

1 COMMENT

  1. I agree with everything that was written about easements, but I have a question about “better policing”. What does that mean? More police? Or police diverted from regular street traffic duty to patrol cart paths instead? If it means more police, who is going to pay for it? If it means diversion, this mean less presence where police are arguably needed more- the public roadways. I’ve seen this comment a lot- “let’s just have more police presence,” but I don’t think anyone has really thought through the implications of what that means.