Pima County workers took down a fence that blocked the Anza Trail for almost three months. The person who put up the fence said it’s not over yet, and the county agrees.
Early in the morning, workers from Pima County, along with officials and deputies, arrived to remove three lines of fencing. These frustrated property owners put up the fence to stop vehicles and hikers from crossing their property. The fence blocked about 275 feet of the trail, near Abrego Drive and Continental Road. One part of the fence went from the trail across the Santa Cruz River to the pecan orchards.
It took the workers about thirty minutes to take out the fencing, posts, and signs. Homeowners Scott Kirkland and Shane Richard argued while the crews removed the fence.
Kirkland, who was cleaning the trail, told them to show proper paperwork and a court order. He said, “You can’t force me.”
Richard came out of his house and asked to see a warrant. He shouted at the workers, wanting to talk to them. Eventually, a county employee talked to him, but he was still upset as the crews took down the fence and put it into a county truck.
The homeowners said they put up the fence because vehicles, not allowed on the trail, damaged their property. They also said hikers and homeless people left trash, and despite complaining, the county didn’t help.
The director of the county’s Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation sent a letter on October 23 telling three property owners to remove the fence. The letter said if they didn’t, the county would remove it and charge them for the work.
Kirkland’s lawyer responded on November 2, saying the property’s title report didn’t mention a 60-foot space needed for a trail and utilities. The lawyer said Kirkland put up the fence to stop vehicles and that they might discuss moving the easement away from Kirkland’s home if there is one.
The county didn’t reply to the letter.
Kirkland showed emails confirming the easement on his property. But the title company couldn’t find an agreement for the trail on Kirkland’s lot.
A spokesperson for the Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation said they found the fence broke the rules because it was in a specific area where it shouldn’t be. The spokesperson didn’t answer other questions due to possible legal issues.
The spokesperson said they’re discussing with the County Attorney’s Office if the homeowners should pay for removing the fence. They’ll return the fencing to the landowners but didn’t give a specific date.