At Tuesday's City Council meeting, residents of north Durango aired praise and criticism for a proposed Animas River Trail extension that would add 2.1 miles to the existing trail and potentially ignite property disputes involving the city, the train, private residents or some combination thereof.
Concerns for the extension included trespassing, erosion, noise and light pollution, congestion, the danger posed by the increased train speed in north Durango and private property rights.
Several residents had strong concerns, but most supported the idea of extending the trail.
"I was real pleased that no one was really anti-trail," said councilor Michael Rendon near the end of the meeting.
Tim Holt, an Animas View Drive resident and owner of the United Campground of Durango, expressed perhaps the harshest critique of the trail.
He complained of safety concerns for the campers who board on his land and of trespassers who might try to access the Animas River from the trail.
But he said his biggest concern was whether the entities involved had the legal authority to transfer use of the land.
"Right now, I feel like I'm being run over," he said, adding he'd like to see more transparency from the council.
Several other residents ech-oed this point.
One person said residents who live within 300 feet of the trail should be mailed notices for trail hearings before the council.
Currently, only residents who live within 150 feet of the trail are mailed notices.
Bennett Street resident Robert Lee said other property owners like him had a stake in the extension because the glare of the lights needed for the trail would be visible from his property.
For Tim Wolf, resident of Silverton Street, the issue of light pollution was serious to residents, and so was the threat to his view of Colorado's star-lit skies.
"This will change all that forever," Wolf said.
Mike Fenton, who lives on 32nd Street, said increased foot, bicycle and motor vehicle traffic near the 32nd Street Bridge would exacerbate a "bottleneck" at the 32nd Street-Main Avenue intersection that could cause congestion for blocks.
Animas View Drive resident Paul Wilbur said Durangoans should be good stewards to the land they own and consider future residents in their public decisions.
"Because we don't own it forever," he said.