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Lansing Center Trail

The Town of Lansing Planning Board considered a draft policy designed to insure that the Lansing Center Trail remains a part of the landscape no matter what development occurs on the 152 acre town land across the street from the Lansing Town ball fields.  Town Planning Consultant Michael Long said that preserving the trail is a consideration in negotiations with Rochester's Cornerstone Group, the first developer that will be building on the town land.  The policy retains a 20 foot right of way for the Town, while providing the flexibility to relocate it to accommodate future development.

"We're trying to come up with a mechanism for insuring that there will continue to be a trail on the town lands as they are sold the trail may change, depending on where the developments are," planning board member Deborah Trumbull summarized. "But this will give us some flexibility to continue the use of the town land.  Most of the trail sections are at the perimeter of the town land."

The two-page document perpetually reserves a 20' right of way for the Town that will provide room for equipment used to maintain the trail, and prevents structures from being built on the trail.  it specifies the Town's right to regulate 'open hours or lawful use' of the trails, and also gives the Town the right to relocate the route if necessary, as well as to place recreational structures and improvements on the trail.

Town Attorney Guy Krogh said he developed the policy in consultation with Trumbull and Town Councilwoman Katrina Binkewicz, who has also been instrumental in the revitalization of Salt Point.  Krogh suggested planning board members review the draft and add suggestions before referring it to the Town Board for adoption.

"Ultimately if this is to be a policy the Town Board will consider approving it with or without changes," Krogh said. "One of the valuable things that the Planning Board could provide are improvements or suggestions.  This is an idea that I generated, largely working with Deb and Katrina.  So there are three minds on this, not 20.  20 could probably make it better."

When Cornerstone begins work on Milton Meadows it will construct a new road from Auburn Road (State Route 34B) to phase one of their development.  the Town plans to adjust the north end of Woodsedge Drive to create a four-way intersection.  Planning board members said that would present an opportunity to connect the trail to those already part of the town ball fields.  Long said that connecting the trail to the ball fields is already part of the plan.

"There will be a path system that connects Milton Meadows to the ball fields ," he said.

The approximately three miles of trails are maintained largely by a volunteer group that keeps it mowed and has placed informational signs and route maps along the route.  The .2 mile long Murdock Spur connects the trail to Scoops Ice Cream stand, where hikers can take a break after a long walk or run. It is also used by Lansing High School's varsity track and field team, hosts a cross country meet, numerous hikers, cross-country skiers, and people who just want to walk their dogs.

"If any of you have emptied the dog poop bags you will know that it is a very well used trail," laughed Trumbull. "It is not the grand canyon.  It is an interesting trail, but it doesn't have anything really exotic.  There is some old farm land, there are some old farm walls -- you can see the history of Lansing in the landscape."

Lansing Center trail

"Considering that, you're not missing anything by having to move the trail because the Town wants to use the trail for something else," observed planning board member Larry Sharpsteen.

Roger Hopkins, one of the trail's founders' recommended that planning board members walk the trail as soon as possible, while asking themselves how trails will be routed through or around parking lots, how the 20 foot right of way will precisely be defined relative to future nearby roads, whether the trail will be integrated in building designs or routed around the back, and whether the trail will continue to serve those who currently use it while attracting new users.

"I support the policy statement you have put forth," he said. "I believe this will protect the existence of the trail and its benefits to Lansing residents and visitors for the foreseeable future."

Lansing Center Trail

"This is a Town Center Trail policy," Krogh said. "Obviously it will morph if other trails ever tap in.  It will change as it grows.  Hopefully it would happen somewhat organically and in a planned, orderly fashion.  The only thing insuring that the trail stays there right now is the good will of town government.  There is a natural tension between what's there and its value as a public resource, and that should be preserved."

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