At its meeting on Dec. 22, the county legislature’s Government Operations Committee considered a proposal from Planning Director Ed Marx to list the Indian Creek woods property for sale on the open market.
After meeting in executive session to discuss the proposal, the committee said it would delay listing the property until Jan. 15 in order to give ICNA an opportunity to make an offer on the 25.5 acres of woods and wetlands. The committee said the county would consider offers below the 2009 assessment value of $340,000 for the land. If ICNA does not make an offer by Jan. 15, the county will list the property. The county did not reveal a new assessed value for the property.
We are working on scheduling an ICNA meeting for the week of Jan. 4. Please check our Facebook page or website (indiancreekneighborhood.com) for the meeting confirmation later this week.
ICNA member Roy Luft spoke in public session at the beginning of the meeting. This is his statement:
“I’m going to speak today for the Indian Creek Neighborhood Association and as a private citizen.
For the Indian Creek Neighborhood Association: Before ICNA can make any commitments we need to hear the new assessed value of the woods and the county’s asking price. ICNA has met with the UNA committee of the EMC. We have requested that UNA status be extended up Indian Creek to the woods, based upon the creek, the extensive wetlands, the flora, and fauna. We believe that UNA designation would make ICW eligible to receive funding from the county’s Capital Reserve Fund for Natural, Scenic, and recreational protection. We may be able to raise the matching 50% of funds needed to protect the woods.
Speaking for myself: Several months ago, I told this committee that I would consider a development on my open back acreage that fronts on the woods, if there was an environmentally well conceived project proposed, rather than having the county cut down woods for that project. I thought, rather naively, that since the county planning department came up with the NRP project, that they would come up with an alternative project.
I see now that we the public will need to act, “Take the bull by the horns,” and come up with our own project. Therefore, I am considering a cluster subdivision of senior houses in my field. This would require the Biggs property, as the compensating land to be protected, in exchange for the high density of the cluster development. “This could increase the tax base for the town and county while preserving the woods. “If this is an idea that you all believe has merit, then I will work with the county and town planning departments, to move forward with this and see if we can make numbers work so that energy-efficient 700-1000-square-foot homes can be built to sell to seniors at an affordable price. I would ask that you not list the land on the open market while we explore this option. If you want to post an RFP for alternative ideas about the woods, I would have no objections.
Let’s do what is best.”
We have important issues to discuss at the next meeting. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
In the meantime, happy new year, everyone!