Keep Eleanor Park as a park – Colonial Beach Council considers subdivision to sell as lots
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Request for the Town Council of Colonial Beach to submit a grant application in December 2017 to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to create and receive payment for an easement that preserves Eleanor Park rather than sell it as individual lots.
1. Eleanor Park was dedicated for benefit and enjoyment of Colonial Beach residents in 1882.
2. Ever since, this waterfront park, with a spectacular eastward view, has served the community.
VIEW. People in the park look down the Potomac River and see
St. Clement’s Island, almost 10 miles away, where Maryland’s first colonists landed in 1634; they look right to see Wakefield, George Washington’s birthplace, or look left to Cobb Island at the mouth of the Wicomico River.
USE. Today, green, grassy, wide Park acres, shaded by tall, mature hardwood trees, offer enjoyment with room to play, run, walk, stroll, meet, and sit.
WILDLIFE. Eleanor Park’s trees and bordering shrubs offer protection and nesting places for ospreys and other birds, from bald eagles to brown thrashers, cardinals, woodpeckers, owls, mallard ducks, blue jays, blackbirds, sparrows, wrens, hummingbirds, and finches.
3. In 2013 after years of restoration, the Planning Commission reviewed use and recommended, in an 18-page report, to keep the 1.89 acres for all to enjoy.
4. In 2014, the Town finished cleanup and restoration and marketed the park to developers.
5. In 2016, two offers arrived for 20-25% less than appraised land value and were withdrawn as FEMA flood zone and other restrictions on development became clear.
6. In 2017, the Town obtained a survey for the Park and has stated they intend to subdivide into small lots and sell them separately.
7. Sale in any form would deprive present and future Colonial Beach residents of enjoyment of the Park.
8. We ask the Town Council to pursue preserving the Park as green space for the benefit of Town residents and visitors.
1st Work with an organization like the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, which receives state and private support to create and pay for open-space conservation easements and preserve green spaces forever.
2nd Grant such an easement to preserve Eleanor Park.
3rd Plan and enhance Eleanor Park with resident participation and input.
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