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Bella Vista warnings aren't meant for good citizens

I walk in the east Medford hills regularly, exercising and walking my dog. Part of my regular routine was walking up Camina Drive, a very quiet street that parallels East McAndrews Road in the Bella Vista subdivision. Lately, I've seen big "No trespassing" signs, warnings of 24-hour surveillance and arrest. Since when is it a crime to walk on public streets?

— Gladys J., Medford

It seems there's been a lot of unwelcome stuff going on in the neighborhood.

Bella Vista is a large subdivision that has yet to go beyond the infrastructure phase. The Bank of the Cascades took over the 100-plus-lot subdivision, some with commanding views of the valley, a couple of years ago. More recently, it has been an alternative course for walkers, runners and bikers, not to mention vandals. The streets in the development have not become public yet, thus the warnings. But while the signs are by design intimidating, if you are minding your own business — and not breaking laws — you shouldn't have too much to worry about, said Curt Johnson, one of the real estate agents marketing the property for Oregon Opportunities.

"There have been some unintended activities occurring in the area," Johnson said. "Including some illegal dumping that the owners have to pick up and clean up. They have found all kinds of household garbage and junk and they are trying to discourage that kind of activity."

Where there is asphalt, sidewalks, curbs and drains on public rights of ways, walking, running, biking and walking your dog aren't frowned upon.

"Those are the kind of activities that don't hurt anybody," Johnson said. "Good citizens are always welcome."

We at Since You Asked World Headquarters would suggest solidifying your good citizen status by carrying bags to pick up after the pooch.

The good folks at Bella Vista do ask, however, that you stick to the paved areas. When it comes to dirt, that's considered private property.

"We'd like to keep people and their articles off the dirt," Johnson said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.