Arcadia homeowners concerned over privacy, security ahead of Cholla trail reopening

The Cholla Trail at Camelback Mountain is set to reopen on Sept. 30 but homeowners in the area are worried about security and privacy.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 8:00 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — In just 15 days, the Cholla hiking trail at Camelback Mountain will open to the public for the first time in more than two years. While this is welcome news for some, homeowners in the area worry about security and privacy. Now they are asking the city to work with them.

Gene Morrison built his family home right off of Camelback Mountain 20 years ago. The new Cholla Trailhead access point is directly behind his backyard off Invergordon Road. “It is frustrating and we’re very concerned over the impact it’ll have,” Morrison said. “We want to just able to get a more secure situation than what we anticipate will happen to us.”

Morrison says the trail is less than 75 feet away from his backyard. He says it attracts hundreds of hikers at all hours of the day. He says he and his neighbors are concerned about losing the sense of security they’ve always had at their home. “We are in talks with the city. We are trying to build a security fence which will also visually block the hikers from this trail,” Morrison said.

He added that he has told the city he and his neighbors will pay for a 6-foot wall or fence, if they can get a permit. A city spokesperson says they have asked the neighborhood’s HOA to provide plans. But the city is still waiting for that and added any plans for a fence would require approval and could not negatively impact the trail. “The fact that the wall would need to be substantially high enough to ensure for our confidence that we don’t have people getting into what was a secured area for all this time,” Morrison said.

Back in December, Arizona’s Family brought Gene’s privacy concerns to the city. Since then, the city has planted more trees and shrubs throughout the area to help with privacy. But Morrison feels more needs to be done. “We just want to get the security and make sure we’re protected, a private situation for us,” Morrison said.

Some neighbors are also concerned about traffic. The city says there isn’t room for a dedicated parking lot, so hikers will have to continue to park along Invergordon. Some new additions at the hiking trail, though, include bike racks, drinking fountains and restrooms.