Council to review surplus parkland request

TROY — Only one agenda item is listed on the Troy City Council agenda for its regular meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting will be held at the Bravo Room at the Hobart Arena. The date change is due to the President’s Day holiday.

An ordinance declaring 0.0313-acre parcel of Archer Park located behind 700 Governors Road as surplus is on the agenda.

It is the third request to buy surplus land from Archer Park by residents located adjacent to the park. In a review by park staff, a shed on the property, installed by the previous homeowner, encroaches 2.75 feet on the park property. The request for land would bring the shed onto the owner’s property without removing or moving it.

In 2020, the Board of Park Commissioners conducted a city-wide survey of parkland encroachments after a resident installed a concrete pad for a basketball court on park property located behind the home. The resident was able to purchase the land from the city after it was declared parkland surplus by park commissioners. The resident paid fair market value for the land as well as advertising and transfer costs.

The city-wide survey found 11 properties with encroachments on city park property. Six of those property owners complied immediately. Two property owners submitted requests to purchase adjacent park property — both in the Edgewater subdivision. One encroachment in the 1000 block of McKaig Road requested an egress easement, which was approved and paid for by the property owner.

One of the two encroachments, located in the 2800 block of Amberwood Drive in Edgewater Park, later requested the land to be declared surplus and offered for sale. The last remaining encroachment was located in the 2300 block of Waterford Drive and encroached on Kings Chapel Park. The homeowner removed some items but refused to remove a fence. The park board approved to have city staff remove the fence and give the material back to the owner of the property.

In July 2020, the park board approved guidelines regarding the approval of declaring city parkland, green space, and other public property as surplus. In that policy, public property can be declared surplus and considered for sale for one or more of the following reasons: 1) economic benefit of selling the property outweigh the costs of continuing to use, maintain, manage and improve that property, including but not limited to the financial distress of the city and/or 2) the property is too small or unsuitable for development or use as a park.

The minimum bid price for land is set by the city’s Director of Public Service and Safety and includes administrative costs that may include surveys, records, advertising. All proceeds from the sale are deposited in the general fund or other funds that support parkland or other public property.