I’m wondering if anyone has heard of the city proposal to “privatize” 17 Park Point street-ends? Maybe this is old news?
Below is a letter from Dawn Buck, president of the Park Point Community Club, from this month’s Breeze of Park Point newsletter:
From the President
Many of us on Park Point cherish the opportunity to access the bay and the lake even if we don’t own property on the water. Access to the water is our greatest community resource. The Park Point Small Area Plan Committee is charged with responding to a proposal from City Planning about vacating (privatizing) 17 street ends on Park Point. Do you care? Let someone know. If you have kayaked, fished, skied, skated, rowed, ice boated, surfed, sailboarded, kiteboarded, paddleboarded, or birded on a special street end, don’t miss this opportunity to make your opinion known.
Last Wednesday at the Small Area Plan Committee meeting, City Planners Keith Hamre and John Judd proposed the privatization of 17 “useless” (the planning department’s term) public accesses to both the bay and lake. I was surprised by the City Administration’s proposal because the Park Point Small Area Plan Committee had already agreed with the Parks and Recreation Commission’s plan for Park Point. The resolution from the Commission states, “It should be emphasized that the Park and Recreation Commission does not endorse street end vacations of city property to Park Point residents.”
What happened during the summer of 2013 that would influence the City Administration to override the long standing City Council resolution that preserves public access to the lake and bay? I read in our City’s own Summer of 2013 Duluth Quarterly that, “Destination-class mountain biking, road cycling … kayaking … surfing … are all accessible within walking or biking distance from your home.” How does this square with giving away 17 public recreational sites to individuals in our neighborhood?
In 1990 the city council passed a resolution adopting a policy preserving access to the street ends. The 1990 city resolution states five purposes. (The city’s Comprehensive Plan supports similar objectives):
â— Preserve lake and bay vistas
â— Preserve access to the lake and bay for both Park Pointers and
other Duluth citizens.
â— Prevent overcrowding the Point
â— Provide visual relief from the continuous rows of buildings along
â— Provide for future utility corridors
This resolution is increasingly relevant today as more people are moving to Duluth to be outside and to enjoy the lake and the bay. This resolution also provides a process for adjoining property owners to use and enjoy the street end without vacation.
If you care that 17 street ends could be vacated, here is what you can do:
â—Attend the next Park Point Small Area Plan Committee meeting to observe and to give your written opinion, 5pm on Wed., October 16 at Lafayette
â—Attend the public meeting (date to be determined), watch our website for date and time.
â—Because of diffi culties using the City website, you could email Keith Hamre, khamre @ duluthmn.gov or John Judd, jjudd @ duluthmn.gov with your comments for the SAP.
See you out and about & remember the extra bag for trash,
Dawn & Klaus
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