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Paynesville Press - July 31, 2002

Public protests right-of-way vacation

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

Letters protesting the possible vacation of a right of way for Lyndall Avenue prompted the city council to reconsider abandoning the piece of public property.

Lyndall Avenue runs north from River Street. Although the street ends, a right of way continues to the Crow River.

Randy Albright, who lives on Lyndall Avenue, requested the city vacate the right of way and turn the property over to the adjacent residents. He and his neighbors have been maintaining the right of way for years. He told the council he has mowed, seeded, and even hauled topsoil onto the property to grade it in an attempt to stop erosion.

Although nobody attended last week's public hearing to protest the vacation, several letters were sent asking the city to keep the property. As long as the right of way is kept by the city, it provides public access to the river, and it seems many residents are reluctant to give this up.

"We have used Lyndall Avenue for our access to the river. Our children, grandchildren, and many neighbors have never had any trouble going to the river. If that land is vacated and we could not use the access, we would be trespassing on someone's property," wrote Milt Koshiol.

"It seems to me that in this time of extensive development, the city would want to retain and protect parcels of land that it already owns," wrote L. Jean Anderson. "I feel that this is especially important for land adjacent to the river where it can be retained as a natural area, a runoff buffer, and an access to the river,"

Mayor Jeff Thompson said he never expected such a strong response and suggested that the matter should be looked at more closely.

Albright said he would not be opposed to the city keeping the property, perhaps as a recreational area, but he noted that it's an eyesore and somebody needs to keep it looking nice.

The council agreed that the city's park board and the public works department should look into the matter further to determine how the property may be used and maintained best.

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