To build or not to build? Neighbors, officials disagree how to u - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

To build or not to build? Neighbors, officials disagree how to use land

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

It’s empty, but it’s peaceful even on a cloudy, rainy day.

“Coeur d'Alene doesn't have an arboretum and this one would have all native trees,” Jocelyn Babcock said.

Veteran’s Memorial Park sits at the top of Fernan Hill over looking much of Coeur d’Alene.

The vast emptiness is something Panhandle Parks Foundation Executive Director, Jocelyn Babcock, says could use some TLC.

“Having a small parking lot, paved parking so people aren’t parking on the grass,” Babock said, “and also discusses having bathrooms.”

The park total is 16-acres, eight acres of open space and eight forested acres.

Babcock added that the proposal also has plans for a potential arboretum and hiking trails.

But when it’s particularly dry, she says, is when the park could pose a threat to homes close by.

“There’s a really heavy fire load within the forest itself and the grass here while it’s mowed and maintained by the city it does get dry,” Babcock said.

She added a local family granted the land to the Panhandle Parks Foundation years ago, but neighbors close by want to keep the land in it’s natural state.

“We need to maintain it and make sure that it’s healthy and it’s not a fire risk which would also benefit homeowners,” Babcock said.

Babcock mentioned the city of Coeur d’Alene would host a workshop regarding the plans on November 20th, 2017.

Residents can weigh in on the proposal by sending comments to the city’s Parks and Recreation department.

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