McEUEN: Tubbs Hill encroachment

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The McEuen team has arbitrarily included Tubbs Hill in the McEuen Park project. However, Tubbs Hill is a separate entity. It is not part of McEuen. It is not a part of LCDC urban renewal. It should not be developed.

The city and many citizen volunteers have worked for more than 50 years to protect Tubbs from development. This hill is for public enjoyment of a natural setting, and the city has not allowed any man-made additions like benches, signs, trash cans, restrooms or paved pathways. Tripping over roots and rock, climbing steep hills and being surrounded by stands of native trees is part of the Tubbs experience and is why Tubbs is the jewel in Coeur d'Alene's crown.

Yet, for some unknown reason, this past summer Parks and the McEuen team added Tubbs to the McEuen Plan and included the following encroachments:

1. A sledding hill which would involve clear-cutting a large swath of trees. The scar would be there for us to see every day.

2. The Third Street entrance where a natural path, memorial boulders and directional signs now stand. The team wants to replace this entrance with a man-made waterfall, stream, gardens and ramp. The team would crowd this artificial entrance with other Disney-type features.

3. A new northside trail. This is advertised as an easy, level trail, but obviously the team doesn't understand that this area is steep and filled with rock walls which would have to be blasted. This is on Tubbs Hill and should not be tampered with. There is an alternative: the proposed level path, lined on one side with native trees and shrubs, along the southern edge of McEuen Field.

4. A new trailhead on the east surrounded by "water features" and other man-made structures. Here again, this is an intrusion on Tubbs.

5. Pocket gardens, a stage, a dog park and viewing platforms on the hill.

Citizens have saved Tubbs from development for more than 50 years. Let's continue to keep Tubbs Hill quiet and natural. Let your City Council know how you feel.

(Send e-mails for City Council members to City Clerk susanw@cdaid.org. or mail to 710 E. Mullan.)

BARBARA ZIMMER

LINDA WRIGHT

BARBARA FILLMORE

Coeur d'Alene

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