Eagle homeowners association asks city to restart talks over path

May 8, 2014 

The contested 1-mile stretch of Greenbelt near Laguna Pointe subdivision in Eagle.

The Laguna Pointe Homeowners Association is one of three parties the city of Eagle negotiated with to open up access and possible improvements to a stretch of Greenbelt.

But in April, the City Council decided it had had enough and put eminent domain into play, filing in 4th District Court for easements along nine parcels.

In a press release Thursday, Laguna Pointe argued that the city cut off discussion six months ago and that attempts by the HOA to restart talks have been ignored since.

"It is a mystery to us why the city of Eagle cut off discussions in the midst of finding mutually agreeable solutions," Darcy Hoellwarth, a Laguna Pointe official and homeowner, said in the release. "We believed we had a solution that the previous Council would have agreed was a win-win for residents and recreationists alike. Instead, the city hired a negotiator that stifled all dialogue and now they’re trying to condemn our property. The city now wants to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to take private property when it already owns the land they need to develop the greenbelt. It makes no sense.”

The association argues that the city dropped the ball with its initial attempts at a public Greenbelt in the area, failing to build it inside of established easements. Flooding in 2006 also changed the course of the Boise River and made Greenbelt access in some areas impossible.

In an email response Thursday, Eagle attorney Susan Buxton said the city's comments remain the same as when announcing it would seek to seize easements.

"The City and the HOA had several issues that were not resolved including, but not limited to: trail use hours, trail width, trail material, dog leash laws (already governed by city ordinance), relocation permit requirements from Army Corps of Engineers, bridge location/construction and amount of compensation well over the appraised value for the grant of an easement to the city for this public path," Buxton wrote. "These are the same factors that have been discussed with the HOA for well over a year without resolution."

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