By LB Indy staff
The City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to abandon three historic footpaths in the Temple Hills Neighborhood but potentially save a fourth, after a heated public debate that ended with an impassioned rebuke against the plan from Councilman Peter Blake.
City staff drafted a formal abandonment process for three pathways under direction from the Council in July. The Council’s vote on Tuesday authorizes the abandonment to proceed, with Councilwoman Toni Iseman dissenting.
The Council decided to keep a fourth pathway connecting Temple Hills Drive to Coast View Drive public for now after hearing from many residents who urged the city to keep it a public walkway, though the Council will consider abandonment again within a few months.
Staff reported, among other things, that the pathway often leads to pedestrians trespassing on private property.
Frank Mickadeit, an attorney and former Orange County Register columnist representing the Temple Hills Community Association, told the Council preserving the fourth pathway as a public one is the neighborhood’s top priority.
Mayor Bob Whelan said he wants more information about future possibilites for the pathway, and
Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow said he wants another chance to walk the pathway and assess its safety benefits.
Blake, who voted against the plan for the fourth pathway, scoffed at Iseman’s suggestion that it’s critical for public safety.
“A goat isn’t safe walking down one of these paths,” Blake said. “This is just a land grab that took place 20 years ago and it’s been nothing but politics for 20 years, and that’s all it is,” he said.
Blake said nothing will change in the next few months, and the pathway still will need to be reverted to private property.
“We’re just going to waste time, but I’m open to wasting time,” he said.