Apr 29, 2009

Parks Commission meeting started late because they didn't have a quorum. 100 people waited for 3 members who arrived 35-45 minutes late.

The first item of business was a charter boat owner who had a creative proposal for paying his dock use fees to the city. He asked the Parks Commission to approve the concept of his proposal, and he'd work out the details with Wayne Gross later. We groaned! That is exactly how we got disc golf fairways cut in Leddy Park! Approval of Concept?..... OBJECTION!

Joy McGarvey reads from comments by Sue Morse, noted forester and founder of Keeping Track. Sue confirmed that Leddy woods is part of a wildlife corridor that provides essential connectivity between Rock Point, Leddy Park, Appletree Point and the Intervale.

33 residents spoke in favor of Leddy Park woodlands preservation, and against disc golf in what is a mixed use park. Leddy Park is zoned RCO/RG (Recreation, Conservation, Open-Space, Recreation/Greenspace). People understand that to mean open space and woodland trails are to be protected; they say that wall-to-wall sports fields were never intended to fill Leddy Park. Many people testified that locating a disc golf course near walking trails is not safe!

17 people spoke in favor of constructing a disc golf course in Leddy Park. Everyone spoke generally favorably regarding the sport itself, and opponents urged the city to find an appropriate location for B'Town to play disc golf.

During the public comment period, Dr. Charles Seleen addressed commissioners regarding the Master Plan. He said "Leddy Parks already has a de facto Master Plan. It is a mixed use park. On the periphery there are sports playing fields for soccer, tennis, handball, lacrosse, and softball. There is a skating rink. In the interior there is a protected natural open space area comprised of an urban forest, walking trails and animal migration routes. This has been established for many years. The change to disk golf removes any 'mixed use' in the interior and destroys fragile open space that is shrinking in Burlington. Disk golf will discourage mixed uses. The golf course area will be a DEDICATED use--disk golf."

The outcome of the meeting was that Wayne Gross will make a recommendation to the Parks Commission for discussion at their May 19th meeting, and the Commission will forward a recommendation to City Council for a final decision.