City signals to BLM desire to purchase parcels

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City Council authorized the city manager to submit letters of interest to the BLM indicating the city’s desire to acquire two parcels currently managed by the BLM. Photo provided by City of CL

The Canyon Lake City Council approved Resolution No. 2019-27 and Resolution No. 2019-28, authorizing the city manager to submit letters of interest to the United States Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) indicating the city’s desire to acquire two parcels (APN: 349-200-012 and APN: 349-290-0030 which are currently managed by the BLM.

For several years, the city has discussed pursuing the acquisition of two parcels of public land currently managed by the BLM. These parcels are located within the boundaries of the city and represent two of only a few remaining areas of the city that could potentially be utilized for economic growth.

On June 19, the city manager met with Doug Herrema, the BLM field manager assigned to the region that includes the city of Canyon Lake.

Herrema provided an update of the discussions that have taken place between the city and the BLM in the past, an overview of some of the preliminary work that has been done on the parcels in question and a summary of what steps could be taken by the city in order to move the process forward.

The first step the city must take to officially begin the process of acquiring land from the BLM is to submit a letter of interest.

The letter must indicate the parcels in question, the land uses contemplated by the city and how the transfer of the property from the BLM to the city would benefit all involved.

By passing Resolution No. 2019-27 and Resolution No. 2019-28, the city is officially signaling to the BLM and to all stakeholders that it is the city’s intention to acquire the parcels in question and to develop portions of those parcels in order to achieve the important public objectives of community expansion and economic development.

“The city has, for many years, recognized the importance of gaining local control over the public lands within our city boundaries that are currently maintained by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM),”  said City Manager Chris Mann. “The letter of interest that was approved by the City Council on Aug. 7 is the first step in a several-year process of attempting to acquire the land.  While the letter outlines numerous potential uses, the City Council has not determined what exact uses or zoning would eventually be placed on the land should the city be successful in acquiring it.  This is just the beginning of what we expect to be a very long process.  Ultimately, no land use decisions will be made without extensive public input.”

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