EAGLE POINT — The city's plan to develop a nearly 9-acre park has received a major boost with the pending purchase of an additional 1.08 acres of vacant property.
Purchased for $65,000, plus closing costs, the nearly 550-foot-long, 88-foot-wide strip of land will be used as the primary access to the proposed Lucas Park, a neighborhood park in the Glenwood Subdivision in southwest Eagle Point. The purchase clears one of the few objections to the project.
Until this month, the park entrance had been planned for the end of Glenwood Drive, a narrow residential street with little parking.
Residents were concerned their neighborhood would be filled with cars and their property values would drop. They suggested an entrance off South Shasta Avenue, a major thoroughfare, but at the time the city didn't own any property that could connect the park with Shasta.
When the City Council learned that such a property was available, it directed City Administrator Henry Lawrence and City Attorney Joe Kellerman to make the California owner an offer.
In a joint meeting Tuesday between City Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission, Lawrence said the property is now in escrow and is expected to close Feb. 8.
Named Lucas Park for an Eagle Point family who once owned the park land, it was given to the city in 2002. The proposed park consists of a flat, grassy area and an adjoining forested ridge to the southeast.
"I think the purchase of that new property," said Parks Commissioner Eric Benline, "will make it easier to see the park from Shasta. We'll get more traffic. And people who are interested in going to a park for an afternoon of recreation will see it and put it on their plan."
"We're very happy that the property was available," said Commission Chairwoman Lynn Scott. "It will make our job a lot easier."
When the discussion turned to what should be done first in the park and how to pay for it, Lawrence said city staff would look into it and return with suggestions.
"I don't recommend we go into debt over this," he said. "Instead, let's see if we can come up with a phasing plan and some cost estimates and start narrowing it down."
Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at email@example.com.