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Open Space: One Parcel Off the Market, Woodbury Eyes La Lake Land

Half the funding for the $800,000 parcel would come from Washington County’s Land and Water Legacy program, under the current proposal.

The Woodbury City Council was planning to discuss Wednesday the purchase of two parcels that would expand the city’s open space acreage.

Instead, staff found out earlier this week that one of the parcels—a 15-acre site near the Valley Creek Open Space—had been purchased.

“That one is off the market,” said Bob Klatt, the city’s Parks and Recreation director.

So the council’s attention during Wednesday’s workshop turned to property around La Lake, the former Lone Lake Kennels land adjacent to the existing La Lake Open Space.

A recent appraisal of the 30-acre La Lake parcel put its value at $800,000. The city would pay for half the cost, with the remaining funds coming from Washington County’s Land and Water Legacy program. (Though Councilman Christopher Burns joked that if the county wanted to do a 90-10 match, it would be fine with Woodbury.)

The acreage includes part of the lake, and the purchase would expand the city’s open space near the La Lake retreat house and connect to Woodbury’s trail system and provide better sightlines to the lake itself.

An old building on the property would be razed under the plan.

Jane Harper, who coordinates the Land and Water Legacy program, said the parcel falls into the county’s “medium category” in terms of priority. Higher on the priority list are places of regional significance, such as land along the St. Croix River, she said.

Still, the parcel does have qualities—a wooded area with lake access that connects to existing open space—that make it attractive, Harper told Patch.

The proposed purchases are expected to go before the county’s Park and Open Space Commission on Jan. 17 and the Washington County Board on Jan. 22.

 

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