Nordic ski group gets nod to begin first phase of Gull
Crest trail project
The Town Council is continuing to move carefully toward establishing a
competitive level system of ski trails on the town's Gull Crest property,
as envisioned by the Cape Nordic ski club.
At their June 12 meeting, Town councilors gave Cape Nordic the go-ahead to
proceed with their first phase of trail development, which includes funding
and constructing 2.4 kilometers of cross-country ski trails in primarily
upland areas on the property.
The council voted unanimously to allow Cape Nordic to proceed with Phase
I, taking into consideration the Conservation Commission's assessment of
the trail proposal. (Click
here to view Conservation Commission memo) (pdf format)
"A key concern of the snowmobile community, raised earlier, was the issue
of exclusive use," said Councilor Mary Ann Lynch at the June 12 meeting.
"The Nordic group has assured us in writing that they will only ask for up
to 4-5 days of exclusive use per winter," she said.
Cape Nordic first approached the Town Council in 2002 with a vision for
establishing cross-country ski trails at Gull Crest. Having competitive level
trails in Cape Elizabeth would save the time and costs associated with traveling
to other communities for cross-country skiing, and would extend practice
and competition time for Cape school teams.
The groomed trails would also benefit other recreation on the property, and
it was the assurance of multi-use trails that was a key factor in the
Conservation Commission's assessment of the proposal.
"At all other times the trail will be open to all other users," Lynch said.
"And, just to be clear, that's walkers, snowshowers, recreational Nordic
skiiers, as well as snowmobilers that will be able to benefit," she said.
Still, the Conservation Commission recommended the council concentrate on
Phase I of the proposal, a smaller and environmentally less complicated project
than the 4.2-kilometer proposal that Cape Nordic is contemplating. In a memo
to the council dated June 5, the commission recommended that approval of
Phase II be subject to an independent evaluation after completion of Phase
I and at least a full season of use.
The council on June 12 approved the beginning of Phase I, subject to these
Completion of a preliminary engineering assessment by Oest Associates, the
town's enginer, to include identification of wetlands if any; identification
of the need for storm water and erosion control, and recommended methods
for addressing those needs. The assessment will be paid for by Cape Nordic.
Presentation of any necessary Department of Environmental Protection and
Evidence of sufficient funds to complete Phase I.
Cape Nordic may not exclude other users from the trail, without the permission
of the Town Council, more than 5 days each winter.
The council vote also stipulated that work on Phase I comply with the details
on trail width, materials used, and cleanup as outlined in the Conservation
Commission's June 5 memo, with the exception of a recommendation for a stone
dust trail subsurface.
In a seperate motion, the council addressed Phase II of the project by directing
the town manager, once the engineering report on Phase I is received, to
solicit a second report from the town engineer on wetlands, and on stormwater
and erosion control, for the Phase II areas. That report is also to be funded
by Cape Nordic.
*(both are in pd format.
Acrobat Reader is required )