Get real citizen input for Lebanon Hills

To the editor:

They are going to do what?

This is the question heard at a friend’s house in Apple Valley on Dakota County’s plan for Lebanon Hills Regional Park.

The biggest part of this plan is to grade in a 5 percent grade trail into the park cutting ski and hiking trails numerous times. This park is called Lebanon Hills for a reason as there are many large steep hills and putting in a 5 percent grade for 6.5 miles means a linear strip mine type development of that length with hills cut down, berms added, and retaining walls galore. There is very little 5 percent topography in Lebanon Hills.

The new trail (some call it a road) duplicates existing trails surrounding the park as well as the highline trail. Nothing new is being connected.

In a letter last week, Valerie Dosland mentioned that she is confident in Dakota County as the development of mountain biking from the last plan worked. That development starting in 2001 began as this one with a large objection to a number of features but no objection to the mountain bike development. The result of the 2001 objection was to restart the Lebanon Hills planning with real input from citizens and elimination of most of the bad ideas. Today’s plan has a negative response rate nearing 90 percent from the comments received. This rush to gain funding from Legacy Act or other sources should be slowed down to allow open planning and real citizen involvement.

Mike Fedde