Revised proposal for Grindstone Trail gets closer to approval

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 | 10:50 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — City leaders expressed cautious optimism Tuesday for a revised plan to the proposed Grindstone Trail, but neighborhood opposition remains and multiple options are still under consideration.

Mike Hood, director of Columbia Parks and Recreation, presented a revised route for the Grindstone Trail that would avoid crossing private property by moving the trail several yards toward Grindstone Creek. Homeowners complained that an initial proposal presented in August would cut through their backyards. 

Council members said they were more willing to support the trail now that it would avoid private property.

"It appears to me you have re-engineered this and taken it off his (Jim Baker's) property and into the woods," Mayor Bob McDavid said at a work session Tuesday. "It is far less intrusive for the family than before." 

The route would still require the city to negotiate with the Bluff Creek Estates Homeowners Association to acquire its land. 

"At this point no one is in favor of discussing using our common land for building a trail," said Charley Blackmore, the neighborhood association's president. "It is a trail in the woods that goes nowhere."

First Ward City Councilman Fred Schmidt said at the work session he's concerned less with acquiring common neighborhood land than with using eminent domain on a private lot.

"I'm inclined to think asking for common ground is different than asking for someone's backyard," Schmidt said.

Members of the Bluff Creek and East Pointe subdivisions voiced significant opposition to the threat of eminent domain in August. 

Mayor Bob McDavid suggested shelving the Grindstone Trail and shifting funds to other trail projects at an October City Council meeting, but that plan was rejected by three of the four citizen advisory commissions that were instructed to review the proposal and offer the council feedback. 

During the work session, the council agreed to allow the parks staff to compile a more formal report to present at a future meeting. The council could also decide to build only a portion of the trail, perhaps only connecting the Grindstone Nature Area to the Waters-Moss property. A public hearing will be scheduled before the council makes a final decision.

Wrapping up GetAbout 

Columbia Parks and Recreation released a list of projects it hopes to complete with the remaining $3.5 million from the GetAbout Columbia initiative. The five priorities, reduced from nine options, are:

Hinkson Trail: Conley: Concrete trail connecting Conley Road to Highway 63 near the Home Depot, providing a bicycle and pedestrian link across the Highway 63/I-70/Clark Lane intersection; $555,000

Clark Lane Sidewalk East: Sidewalk running along the north side of Clark Lane from Ballenger Lane to Woodland Springs Court; $325,800

County House Trail: West: Trail extending County House Trail from the current terminus at the Stadium/College Park intersection to Rollins Avenue; $445,000

Clark Lane Sidewalk West: Sidewalk running along north side of Clark Lane from Paris Road to Eastwood Drive; $410,325

Shepard-Rollins: East-West: Concrete trail from Old 63 at Shepard Avenue to the east terminus of Rollins Street, crossing Hinkson Creek; $1,740,000

The four projects not included in the revised priorities include a West Boulevard sidewalk, bike lanes on Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard, and a trail connecting the Hominy Trail to the Shepard Boulevard neighborhood.

Supervising editor is Jacob Kirn.

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