3 pieces of City parkland may be put to voters for possible disposal
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The Traverse City City Commission will discus ballot language to dispose or sell parkland at three separate locations at tonight’s Study Session at 7:00 PM.
Here’s the agenda and packet (PDF) and it is also embedded below.
The first two ballot initiatives are connected to the ongoing community interest of ameliorating issues involved with Division St. (GV) and the third involves selling all or some of the now undeveloped portion of the Oakwood Cemetery (RE).
Tonight is the first time the commissioners have reviewed ballot language in a public meeting. Hopefully, the public views an actual discussion so that we can get a sense of how the City intends to pursue these initiatives. If the commission approves the ballot language before August 27 (now planned for the July 16th meeting), then voters will see them on the Nov. 6 ballots.
15-acres of undeveloped parkland possibly up for sale.
- Oakwood Cemetery: The City subsidizes the cemetery to between $200-300,000 annually. They have taken measures this year to reduce that number (increased rates, maintenance changes) yet it will still remain high as there is only so much business a cemetery can do in a year. Hence, why it is also considered a park to serve the community in an appropriate way. There is a 15-acre parcel now undeveloped and slated for future cemetery along Airport Access. Some City Commissioners have expressed interest in selling this portion for development and to put the money received in the sale back in the cemetery trust fund. Unfortunately, that money would be split among 5 other government entities.
- Division Street: A vote to use current parkland to expand the right of way up to 30-feet to the west of the current location. The ballot initiative only includes property between 14th and 8th St. An affirmative vote by the voters would theoretically allow MDOT to begin the process for long-term plans for this area, however without any money tied to the project by the City, the region, or the State, it’s unclear as to the process moving forward.
- 8-1/2 Street: An additional ballot measure would consider a new street that would run directly through the northern edge of what is now the Women’s Walk. The measure would seek the disposal of 66-feet of right of way to connect Elmwood Avenue east to Division St. This street has been discussed before, but it has never been given consideration to this level and in 2010 was considered a low-priority.
What’s you’re initial take? What information do you need to formulate an informed opinion?