City Beach land swap is a wrong-headed pipe dream

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Mayor Shelby Rognstad’s piece supporting the City Beach land swap is unfortunate. The plan or initial concept, much like the War Memorial Field “concept,” which passed in a divided vote by the council, is worth considering, but you’d think there must be more eggs in the basket than this draft. Apparently, there are no other concepts worth considering because the mayor says he will in January ask for approval of the land swap. This is much too soon for such approval with the busy holiday season coming.

Interestingly, the city’s GreenPlay website shows “War Memorial Field Initial Concept No. 2,” which passed. Was there a concept No. 1 or No. 3. If so, I must have missed them. This begs the question, hinted at above: what are the other “concepts” for City Beach without the land swap?

Is planning for holding the Festival at City Beach a good idea? Water features at City Beach — good idea? Oh wait there’s a big lake right over there … “The new hotel will serve nearly twice the current visitors” and add conference space, but “without the swap, Sand-Ida would not have space to accommodate a restaurant and bar,” the mayor says. Good idea? Double your hospitality rooms, add conference space and have no way to feed them. Good business plan — for bankruptcy. If the folks at Sand-Ida are any good at what they do, they will figure out what to do without the land swap.

The City Beach initial concept supported by the mayor is a wrong headed pipe dream. Initial means first. As such, there have to be more better ideas out there.

The mayor mentions the Parks & Recreation Final Draft Master Plan’s possible approval in January, too. Hope we Sandpoint taxpayers get to see the “final” before it’s approved.

SHANNON MAY

Sandpoint

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