Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A possible future for Huff Lane

Last evening, I was invited and attended the Dorchester Court neighborhood meeting for the second time in two months. I've also attended the Grandview Area neighborhood meetings multiple times in the last several months.

Nearly a year ago, School Board Chairman David Carson and I were charged with coming up with a recommendation for the disposition of the Huff Lane property, the site of the former elementary school that was closed last year, the victim of budget cuts and the desire to take two neighborhood schools (Round Hill and Huff Lane) and merge them into one. Because of this, many students are currently in trailers and Round Hill needs additional classroom space constructed.

As we approached disposing of the property, we had three goals in mind:
1) To protect the neighborhood from further encroachment.
2) To gain a large portion of the resources to build out Round Hill.
3) To improve the existing, heavily used Huff Lane park.

At the neighborhood meeting last night, a local blogger was in the audience and though a recommendation was NOT imminent, it appears that an abridged story is being written.

The meeting last night was one of the most productive I've ever attended. By the end, each attendee indicated they supported moving forward, recognizing that at any time in the process City Council can stop it and not move forward.

No plans have been drawn for the park. Until we put the property for sale, it's hard to know what, if anything, would be an addition to the area and not a detraction.

I'm confident that we will find a solution to the existing Round Hill property that actually prevents further encroachment into the neighborhood while adding significant amenities to the existing park, and as a result, more greenery.

It's not always possible to get everyone on board with every effort. But we can find a great solution that's a win-win-win for everyone.