Goldman has been investigating the possibility of trading some of the parkland for an adjacent plot owned by an interested developer, who would then help pay for the installation of a vehicle entrance and foot trails. Goldman plans to get back to work on the project when he returns from his six-week suspension. (Goldman was suspended last month for doing consulting work for Gov.-elect Tim Kaine's campaign without approval from the city's chief administrative officer.)
The Larus family sold approximately 100 acres of the tract to the city in the 1970s. It's remained untouched in accordance with a condition of the sale that says the land must be kept in a natural state. The landscape is a dramatic one, crisscrossed with small ravines and a stream.
Real-estate agent Thomas Gravins has offered the city about 18 acres of landlocked woods that adjoin the park in exchange for a small corner parcel of the park.
But a simple trade wouldn't be a good bargain for the city, Goldman says. It's a prime spot for retail or other development, he says: "It's very valuable land."
So Goldman would like to cut a deal in which the buyer of the corner parcel would pay for a parking lot and trails in the park. "Everybody maybe comes out a winner," he says.
Graziano just wants the city to pay the approximately $45,000 needed for a parking lot. She put the money in the capital budget in February, then withdrew it to wait for the finalization of development plans in the area.
In the meantime, volunteers with the city Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities are working to make Larus Park accessible by hauling out trash and making trails for bikers and hikers through the
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