43 County Park Properties At Risk Because They Lack Local Zoning Protection
Chairman Lipscomb Introduces Resolution To Protect Parks and Parkland That Could Be Sold by County Executive Without Public Hearing or Legislative Oversight
Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. has introduced a resolution that supports the protection of Milwaukee County parks and parkland, opposes the sale of any parks lacking the designated zoning as parkland, and seeks to rezone them to protect them from sale.
“Milwaukee County residents place a high value on their parks and public access,” Lipscomb said. “The County Board is acting to protect our ‘emerald necklace’ from sale by the Executive. Our parks are too important to be left to the whims of an Executive who does not value them. Our park system is a legacy that we must protect for future generations.”
The resolution also requests the Parks Department and Corporation Counsel to seek immediate parkland rezoning of identified park properties.
“There are dozens of parks properties that could be sold today by the County Executive without legislative oversight due to legislation he sought in Madison when he sold Park East land for $1 to the Milwaukee Bucks,” Lipscomb said.
“Act 55, the state legislation that granted the County Executive the authority to sell any Milwaukee County land that is not zoned as parkland, included provisions where the Executive received new authority to sell land without a public process or legislative oversight. This characterizes the way in which the Executive has sought power with no regard for the consequences. People will be shocked when they see the list of 43 properties that could be sold.”
Lipscomb said the Executive “could not take the high ground on parks protection,” having sought the power to sell land without a public hearing or legislative oversight.
“The County Board is still trying to get its arms around the implications of Act 55,” he said. “But what we do know is that there are at least 43 properties that could be sold without oversight, a public hearing or legislative oversight today.”
The current list of properties at risk are: Chippewa Park; Red Arrow Park; Cathedral Square Park; Zeidler Union Square; Mitchell Boulevard Park; Mitchell Airport Park; Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum; Grobschmidt Park; Franklin Park; Oakwood Park; Whitnall Park; Sheridan Park; Brown Deer Park; Greene Park; Estabrook Park; Pere Marquette Park; Froemming Park; Lincoln Park; Rawson Park; Melody View Preserve; Riverside Park; Bay View Park; Grant Park; Kohl Park; Lake Park; Armour Park; Runway Dog Park; Servite Park Reserve; Wilson Recreation Center; Joseph-Lichter Park; Juneau Park; St. Martins Park; Algonquin Park; Doctors Park; Hanson Park, A.C.; Southwood Glen; Baran Park; County Grounds Park; Kletzsch Park; Falk Park; Rover West; Scout Lake Park; and Big Bay Park.
The resolution will be considered by the Committee on Intergovernmental Relations on Friday, January 29.