East Lake Sammamish Trail to open tomorrow

I’m excited to see this latest addition to our regional trails system. We will now have trails that extend from Ballard to Issaquah. For anyone who’s run or biked on East Lake Sammamish, this will be a welcome relief from contenting with the very fast and very heavy auto traffic on that road.

This is also a good example about understanding Title Reports when you purchase real estate — particularly when it comes to existing easements. For those of you not familiar with the history, the Seattle Times has a good story about the events leading up to the opening. The abridged version is:

  • Lakeside homeowners purchased property with existing Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad easement — even though it was no longer active the easement remained
  • Under the federal Rails to Trails act, King County purchased the easement for purposes of a recreational trial
  • Homeowners sue to try and block the trail
  • A federal judge rules that the former rail bed is appropriate for trail use

So ask yourself — should you ignore that easement that shows up in title just because it’s not in active use?

The property rights issue aside, I’m looking forward to trying out the trail tomorrow. One cocession they did provide for the homeowners was to add heavy fencing along the path. For others using the trails, I plead for you to remember that the adjoining homes are private property so please respect thier rights and stay on the trail.  Happy trails to all.


4 thoughts on “East Lake Sammamish Trail to open tomorrow

  1. I’d like to weigh-in here. I am a realtor working in western Massachusetts and specialize in the sale of houses next to or near to rail trails or other greenways.

    I am 2nd top agent in the largest independent firm west of the CT River in Hampshire County. Last year–my first full year of doing real estate, I did $9.9 million in sales–2/3s of this was in my niche–next to or near to rail trails and other greenways.

    Living next to these places is not a negative and if you look on my web site, I’ve done some research into the question. I looked at two trails, that pass through seven communities in Eastern Mass and found that listings that tout their proximity to the rail trail sell for a higher proportion of the asking price. And they sell in half the time compared to the general inventory.

    You all would do well to focus on this niche too.

  2. I read penna’s report…the analysis is based off “cited proximity”…Is this the subjective MLS description controlled by the listing agent? Or was an actual measure used to determine property’s proximity (ie w/i xx feet or yy miles)? If the former, the inference is questionable at best.

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