Road right-of-way stays in split-decision vote
By Julia Wolf
A right-of-way between Staudacher Field and the Big Minnow, became the talk of the town, during a regular Lake Holcombe Town Board meeting Oct. 10. The proposal was to split the right-of-way, giving half to the Lake Holcombe Lions Club and half to the Big Minnow.
Brian Guthman, chairman, says Terry Bowe, owner of the land north of Staudacher field, would not be landlocked if the right-of-way was divided. Guthman said Bowe would have access to his property on County Hwy. M and another road.
Doug Olson said Bowe wouldn’t be landlocked now, but pointed out they have had three commercial developments this year, and asked what would happen if someone wanted to further develop. Guthman said Bowe would be required to provide access.
“But why would you be in a hurry to abandon that?” asked Olson.
Guthman says the Lions could then use the land for their needs.
Terry Bowe, resident and owner of the plot adjacent to the right-of-way in question, said he bought the 25-acre plot with the understanding that a road was a possibility and contested the division.
“Looking into the future, I think, is important and that’s what I want to convey tonight,” said Bowe.
Bowe said that 25 acres is prime location for development in the future, though he and his wife bought it for green space.
“That could be very easily be developed into something that would be an asset to the community,” said Bowe.
Bowe said he thinks it will be a loss to the community to divide the road for short-term interests. He said he has seen cars parked on the ball field and does not think that is a place for parking.
“I think this road, in the interim, until it could be made into a road, or if need be, should be a parking area,” said Bowe, which he said could be done with some marking and guidance on where to park.
Bowe said there is 600 feet available and only a few hundred feet are being used, if that.
“It wouldn’t take much to do a little fill in there,” said Bowe.
Guthman said he still thinks the road should be divided between the Lions and the Big Minnow, just like the town did with all the abandoned alley ways.
“I guess I’d be in favor of retaining it (right-of-way), probably because I was involved with getting that access,” said David Staudacher, board member, saying it was for access to that property. “It may be a very valuable asset to the town in the future.”
Guthman said he sees the right-of-way as a liability to the town, because then the town is liable to build a road in there if someone develops.
Robert Bayerl, town resident, said the road right-of-way was given to a previous owner, after the owner intended to build a shop for his business there.
“Since it’s not being used, it should revert back to the club,” said Bayerl. “We certainly can use that.”
Bowe said the right-of-way is being used now for free, by both the Lions club and the Big Minnow.
“And, it’s working, that’s my whole point,” said Bowe. “I’m not asking for anything, other than can we leave it the way it is?”
Bowe added you don’t get it back, once you give it away.
Olson made a motion to keep the right-of-way as is. The motion passed with two in favor of keeping the right-of-way (Olson, Staudacher) and one opposed (Guthman).
Terry Bowe spoke to the Lake Holcombe Town Board about keeping the road right-of-way, located between Staudacher Field and the Big Minnow, intact, during a regular meeting Oct. 10. Bowe said the right-of-way could be important to future development and is used by the two organizations now. Maintaining the right-ofway passed with a 2-1 vote.
Photo by Julia Wolf