Camas wants to build a 7-mile walking/hiking/biking trail around Lacamas Lake. Former Mayor Scott Higgins told the community it would cost $4.8 million to complete the trail around the lake. Furthermore, he indicated the county would pick up a large part of the tab, and the city portion would be $1.5 million.
The Mayor painted a picture of the Camas trail becoming a "destination", where perhaps marathons or triathalons would be held.
How much land is needed to complete the full 7-mile circuit around Lacamas Lake, for all to enjoy?
#1 -- the city does NOT "need" to purchase any land along the north shore in order to create the "7 mile trail".
The city already owns Leadbetter Rd. They city can simply shut down Leadbetter Rd. and turn it into a walking/hiking/bike trail. Minimal added cost.
#2 -- "if" the city wants some added "green space" like they have along the south end of Lacamas Lake, they can adjust zoning and "setback" requirements so that any homes or development are similarly "away" from the edge of the road/path/lake, just like in the Lacamas Shores subdivision.
I have walked the current Heritage trail along Lacamas Shores. It is very enjoyable and pedestrian friendly. Furthermore, that public access land didn't cost the city a ton of money. I believe it was part of the agreement with the city, when Lacamas Shores was developed.
#3 -- "if" we, the people who foot the bill, want a "buffer" along the future Leadbetter walking/hiking/biking trail, then we should discuss "how much buffer" we want, and what we're willing to pay.
Consider the map the city provided of land they purchased prior to the March/April 2020 $17 million land acquisition.
The long parcel highlighted in yellow was DONATED by the Mills family to the city in 2018. This is a ZERO cost "buffer" for a future trail/path.
Note the smaller Orange piece of property. It is owned by the Mills family. That too would make a nice "buffer" to a walking/hiking/biking path if Leadbetter Rd. is turned into that path. Why spend all the extra money to acquire the larger Mills and Dens parcels?
#4 -- A final piece of my concern. A new road. I would assume that north side residents, especially those with children who attend the Lacamas Lake Elementary school use Leadbetter regularly. Right now I assume many school buses and parents drive to/from the school using Leadbetter Rd.
If we turn Leadbetter into a walking path, where will a replacement street run, and how much will it cost? Alternately, how far out their way would the school buses and parents have to drive "if" Leadbetter were closed and they had to use existing roads?
At the Dec. Northshore community meeting (Camas High School) where citizens got to "plan" for housing, businesses, and open spaces, I asked what the cost of a north side new road would be. The city staff had no answer.
So my follow up comment was "this could be a very expensive bike and walking path".
I just want transparency. I want to know the full price for everything tied to this entire Northshore development project. My guess is that average citizen would also like to know everything that is being planned, and what the cost will be.
And I want to know where the money will come from to pay for it. The city council saying "it's not the taxpayers money" at their Monday meeting to approve the $17 million deal left me incredulous. It's ALL the taxpayer's money.