OUR VIEW: Lakefront acquisition benefits publicHow familiar are you with Woodbury’s La Lake? If you’re like many residents, the answer is “not very.” A decision made last week by Woodbury City Council, however, could change all that.
How familiar are you with Woodbury’s La Lake?
If you’re like many residents, the answer is “not very.” A decision made last week by Woodbury City Council, however, could change all that.
The city made a move to acquire a 30-acre land parcel along La Lake – located in the city’s southwest sector at Bailey Road and Woodlane Drive – on space formerly occupied by Lone Lake Kennels.
Proposed acquisition of the property, which had been foreclosed upon, could free up access for the public to one of Woodbury’s lesser-known lakes and put the city in ownership of more than half of the shoreline there.
We like this move for a couple of reasons. Minnesotans love to explore our natural resources, and Woodbury residents are no different. Access to the 44-acre La Lake frees up space for anglers to wet a line there and enjoy an outdoor experience in a suburban environment.
Moreover, the proposed acquisition paves the way for an expanded city trail system. Added connections to Woodbury’s hiking and biking opportunities only boost local quality of life and fosters exercise – something most of us could stand a little more of.
The acquisition also doesn’t look to tap new tax dollars. Funding would come from the city’s Park and Open Space Fund, which appears to have adequate funding available for the purchase as reimbursement payments roll in. If approved, cost of the acquisition could also be slashed thanks to Washington County, which has offered to pay up to 50 percent of the project’s cost.
The battle between public and private access to waterways isn’t anything new and Woodbury is no stranger to the debate. The city had planned to move on acquisition of property on what was known as the Neuburger parcel – located at the headwaters of the Valley Creek trout stream – but property owners got out in front, selling off for nearly double the price.
While that move intentionally closed off access to the public, it’s encouraging to know that at least some of Woodbury’s natural resources will be coming back into the public arena.