Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pedestrian path to stay open

Tonight's Public Hearing resulted in the pedestrian path between Tappan Street and Bellair Lane staying open to the public. To the right is one neighbor's "unofficial" Notice of Public Hearing. Click on the image to enlarge it; then click on the Back button on your browser to return here.

One resident whose property borders on the path wanted the City to vacate the 10' path that was created in 1962, when the subdivision was platted. Her dogs "go crazy" whenever someone passes by, and she has found it necessary from time to time to call the Woodstock Police to quiet loud kids who congregate in the path to drink and party.

Another neighbor whose property borders the path wanted the City to retain ownership of the path. This neighbor and her two daughters were at the Public Hearing, along with a few other neighbors, in hopes that the City Council would preserve the status quo.

The Council devoted an hour of respectful attention and consideration to the points of view which were presented. Mayor Sager told the Council it had a choice of making the motion and voting on it or tabling it, but they did not have the luxury of doing nothing. The right choice was to address it and settle it with a vote, and that's what they did.

Had the Council wishes to vacate the pedestrian path, a super-majority of the full Council would have been required. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the seven members would have to approve it. The Mayor asked the attorney from the Office of the City Attorney whether five (5) or six (6) votes would be needed (75% x 7 = 5.25). The attorney said that six votes would be needed.

Following the Motion and Second, the Council voted 1-6 in favor of the Motion to Vacate, resulting in no change to the pedestrian way. It will remain open to all users.

Mayor Sager pledged the City's support to the resident who wanted the pedestrian way closed. The Woodstock Police will be asked to monitor late-night activities in the path. Walking through is fine; it's not a park, so it's open 24/7. However, loud drinking parties will not be tolerated. No neighbor of that pedestrian way wants those.

Thanks to all parties involved for participating in your city government, and thanks to the Council for its consideration and action tonight.

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