And, Another Trail Bites the Dust…

13 08 2007

…and another one’s gone and another one’s gone…another trail bites the dust!  As the song goes, so do Duluth’s trails.  Check out today’s Duluth News Tribune front page article entitled, “Golf Course Plans Housing.”  http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/articles/index.cfm?id=48039§ion=homepage&freebie_check&CFID=48345372&CFTOKEN=46580550&jsessionid=8830be9dc0f5507e5a2e

cridgeview.gifAs the article cites, this new housing development will eliminate part of an already existing trail that most people thought was part of Hartley Park.  The “Guardrail Trail” as it’s referred to by mountain bikers, will be directly affected by this housing development.  Unfortunately, these trails were developed on property “owned exclusively by the 275-member Ridgeview Country Club, said Paul Laskowski, vice president of Ridgeview.”  The homes on the lots, estimated to be worth $95,000, will be in the $250,000 to $450,000 range and most probably will be sold to country club members. 

This proposal was supposed to go before the city Planning Commission on Tuesday, but ran into problems because this land is recommended for long-term recreational use by the City’s new comprehensive plan.  How much “weight” the new comp plan “musters” is yet to be seen. 

Once again we’re hartley.jpgseeing an example of the ambiguity of Duluth’s green space.  Lands we’ve taken for granted for years as being open for public use, we’re now seeing that they’re not really public land at all and could be sold, developed or auctioned off at any time.  Somehow those of us who live here, recreate here, raise our families here and enjoy the quality of life here need to stand up and demand a new paradigm for progress.  We need to make sure the new comprehensive plan is upheld and support the rebuilding of Duluth’s zoning laws.  Trail Runner magazine named Duluth one of the nations top trail towns and specifically identified the trails in Hartley.  These trails are a real asset to the City of Duluth and it’s unfortunate that we now have to be concerned about the status of some of our best known and used trails.

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