RANCHO PALOS VERDES — A proposed quarter-mile horse trail along Crest Road near Crenshaw Boulevard has run into trouble with nearby Mesa Verde residents, who strongly opposed the trail last week before the City Council.
Development of the trail is part of a recent agreement ending litigation between Cayman Development Co. and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Horsemens Assn. over horse trails near the Island View housing development Cayman is building.
Ray Mathys, former president of the Mesa Verde Homeowners Assn., told the council that the "accumulation of manure and flies would surely discourage the local people from even attempting to use the pedestrian-bike path" that runs adjacent to the proposed trail. He also said horses would destroy landscaping.
Council members also questioned Horsemens Assn. leaders about the number of horsemen who ride in the area and the extent of the city's responsibility to maintain the proposed trail. Mayor John McTaggart called the city's 1984 trails master plan, which contains the proposed Crest trail, "a wish list subject to change."
The remarks prompted Horsemens Assn. President Ann Lewin to accuse the council of backing away from its support of trails. "Tonight I'm hearing the city voice objections that I didn't expect because when they passed the Trail Network Plan in November, 1984, this trail was adopted," she said.
The horse owners group had charged in a lawsuit that Island View has blocked horse trails that have existed for 30 years. The association dropped the suit after Cayman agreed to help horsemen get city approval to open a trail that is now blocked by a pedestrian gate, and to develop the trail along Crest.
Cayman agreed to allocate $10,000 for landscaping and decomposed granite for the Crest trail. The association agreed to drop its opposition to another Cayman development, in which 600 homes are proposed on 300 acres centered on the Chandler gravel quarry in Rolling Hills Estates. The Horsemens Assn. had charged that this development would threaten the rural, horse-keeping life style of the city.
Development of the Crest trail requires the approval of the city, Cayman and homeowners in a development next to Island View.
Cayman has not yet filed an application to amend the Island View conditional-use permit to allow the trail. This is required before the city may legally act on it.