Letter to the Editor

Trail access by law

Shell BeachFebruary 5, 2014 

I’m happy to inform Ray Davis that the right of citizens to use the Ontario Ridge trail above Pirates Cove is based on the law, not self-centeredness or stupidity (Jan. 29).

If the public uses a trail for a period of years without a landowner posting signage or erecting barriers, that ongoing historic access can be established as a permanent public easement. The law regarding such prescriptive easements stems from “adverse possession,” a doctrine with more than 2,000 years of legal precedent. If the Coastal Commission determines that historic public use of this trail has resulted in significant public access benefits, the Attorney General can take action to protect that access.

Hikers who have been enjoying this wonderful trail for years and wish to inform the commission that they would like to continue to do so should show up and speak briefly when the commission meets at the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach on Feb. 13. They want to hear from you.

Please arrive at or before the start of the meeting at 8:30 a.m., as general public comment will be taken early in the day’s agenda. If you have any questions, please contact me at coastlaw@gmail.com.

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