Northridge Open Space & Trail
The Northridge Open Space is a linear parcel running generally north-south along both sides of the Cottonwood Extension Ditch. Its general location can be described as: south of Weld CR 10½, north of Weld CR 1½, east of Northridge Drive, and west of Fletcher Drive.
When the Northridge neighborhood was first platted, the agreements with the Town stipulated that this parcel would be maintained by the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) for Northridge. Unfortunately, the HOA was not formed and therefore did not take over maintenance as originally agreed. Also in these subsequent years, the company responsible for the Cottonwood Extension Ditch have also limited their access and maintenance to that area as well.
Until this point, this parcel area – which acts as a walking path and trail – has been used by neighbors in this community and in some areas very well maintained. Because there is not a consolidated maintenance entity, some areas have not been well-maintained and can be hazardous to safety or the environment due to overgrown invasive species, uneven pathways, and other issues.
Initial Maintenance Plan
The Town of Erie Parks & Recreation Department recently partnered with a company to survey the area and provide detailed maintenance plans for the parcel. Based on the results of the survey and to match the level of service provided in other Town-maintained parcels, the plan below has been outlined to begin this summer.
- Install bollards – vehicle barriers – at trail entrances to control unauthorized vehicle access.
- Remove encroaching shrubs from south trail entrance near Northview Drive.
- Raise all trees overhanging the trail to 12ft in height and prune limbs back to adjacent fence lines.
- Perform hazard mitigation and safety pruning in overstory trees in the north-central section of the property.
- Prune back overgrown thicket of shrubs to provide 8ft clearance from the trail edge in the north-central section of the property.
- Inspect any standing dead trees in the detention area west of Fletcher Drive. Remove any trees which are threatening adjacent property lines.
Ongoing Maintenance Activities
|General inspection of trail, collect blown trash||Weekly|
|Mow 4-6ft strip back from trail edges||Monthly, May-October|
|Mow 4ft courtesy strip along accessible adjacent fence lines||2x/year, approximately June and August|
|Mow land west of the ditch between Baker Lane and west trail spur leading to Northridge Drive||3x/year, approximately May, August, and October|
|Noxious weed control||As Needed|
|Assess and prune trees for hazard mitigation and public access along trail corridor||As Needed|
Requests for Adjacent Property Owners
As this parcel has not been maintained by an HOA up until this point, many property owners have attempted to complete their own care of the areas directly adjacent to their property. In some cases, this looks like the addition of landscaping materials, planted shrubs, rock beds, or other materials added outside the designated property lines.
In order to properly ensure the upkeep of this throughway, Town staff will need to remove some of this material that has been added. As noted above, there will be at least a 4ft mow strip maintained from the center of a crusher-fines trail and many of the added materials are within that 4ft planned area.
All homeowners with properties directly adjacent to the parcel will be notified of the upcoming work and will have at least 30 days to collect any of their materials outside of their property limits before the cleanup of this trail begins. In some cases, the materials are suitable for long-term care by staff and does not need to be removed, but in others, the material has been thoroughly inundated with contaminants and will need to be removed from the site. Clean up is scheduled to begin at the beginning of July 2022.
Some property owners will also receive a request from the Town of Erie sometime toward the end of June or beginning of July to reach over property lines when pruning certain trees. Our Town Forester would prefer to trim trees back in the healthiest way for the tree itself, and in some cases that means crossing a property fence to trim as close to the trunk of a tree as possible. These homeowners have the opportunity to approve or deny that access request before initial maintenance activities begin.