Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Monday

September 30, 2013

Battle over Wayne Street connection continues

TRAVERSE CITY — Fern and Doug Spence gambled $48,000 to discover resentment still runs deep from a bitter, six-year-old lawsuit that pitted neighbors, developers and city officials against each other.

The Spences signed a purchase agreement for a lot on Wayne Street that has been used as an old farm trail and more recently as a shortcut to Hickory Meadows Park and the Willow Hill School. They want to created a dedicated, non-motorized trail across the property, but they need the city to remove a deed restriction banning the creation of a pedestrian trail over a portion of the property.

Fern Spence said she was encouraged when Mayor Michael Estes said in April he saw no reason for the city commission not to consider creation of a pedestrian trail across the property.

"Doug and I went ahead and bought it because we held onto the promise of Mayor Estes that the city commission would consider it," Fern Spence said. "But the city won't even consider it."

The Spence's proposal never made it past city staff. City Attorney Lauren Trible-Laucht told commissioners the trail has "no benefit" for the city and would invite litigation. Trible-Laught said she had already been visited by an attorney for the neighbors who indicated any action by the city regarding the parcel would invite another lawsuit.

"My neighbors and I believe the trail would be very disruptive to the homeowners whose yards adjoin that lot," said neighbor Mary T. Joseph, who leads opposition to the trail. "It would be disruptive to our privacy."

The controversy dates as far back as 2005 when the city planner granted a permit to Incochee Woods developers Bob Brick and Ted Lockwood to build an access road at 1430 Wayne St. The then-new, high-end housing development sprouted on a farm in Garfield Township with access through Wayne and Ramsdell streets, as well as from M-72.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl