On Thursday, September 9, 2021, the Town of Mountain Village filed a lawsuit in the San Miguel County District Court against Brown Dog Properties, LLC and its members Frank and Ruth Hensen, which owns Lot 615 1CR.
In the lawsuit, the Town is requesting a court order confirming the Town’s easement rights for the Meadows Trail as it crosses property owned by the Hensens. The owners have asserted that the Town and the public have no easement and no right to use the trail across their property. The Town disagrees and will pursue claims to confirm easement rights for the trail on several legal grounds including a claim for a “prescriptive easement” based on more than 18 years of continuous use by the Town and the public.
After the Hensens threatened publicly and privately to close or block the trail, the Town closed it temporarily for public safety effective September 1, 2021. The Town will be asking the Court to issue an immediate order prohibiting the owners from blocking or interfering with the trail while the case is pending so that it can be reopened to the public.
The Meadows Trail runs through Lot 615-1CR and has been a popular connection between Mountain Village, Lawson Hill and Telluride for commuters and recreational enthusiasts for over two decades.
At its regular July meeting, Mountain Village Town Council reviewed a minor subdivision request from Brown Dog Properties LLC to vacate a general easement and relocate the Meadows Trail out of the town’s easement onto the Town’s unimproved right of way, and Town Council unanimously voted to table the item until the Meadows Trail issue was adequately addressed by the applicant.
In response to owners' threat to close the Meadows Trail, Town Council held an emergency meeting on Saturday, September 4, 2021 and directed the town’s legal counsel to file a lawsuit in order to confirm the Town’s easement rights and permit the Town to safely reopen the trail.
The Town will continue to share information with the public on the status of both the Meadows Trail and the lawsuit as it becomes available.
For a map of the closure and more information, please visit bit.ly/meadowstrailclosure.