Bike trail veers off planned course
The city of Janesville proposes to pay $5,000 after discovering a segment of its bike trail veered onto private property when it was built about 10 years ago.
The plan commission Monday forwarded a positive recommendation to the city council, which will vote on the purchase at its meeting Monday, Jan. 24.
The city assessor's office discovered the error during a recent routine property evaluation, according to a memo by Duane Cherek, manager of planning services in the community development department.
The land is located between Wuthering Hills Drive and South Wright Road.
About 2,850 square feet is on one parcel and 1,670 square feet is on another parcel of land, both owned by the Naatz Family Trust. The total is 4,520 square feet.
The land is contiguous to the trail section along the drainageway and adjoins the city-owned greenbelt.
The segment was built in 2000 as part of a state Department of Transportation project that extended the trail along the city greenbelt and parklands following the Spring Brook drainage cooridor.
"During construction of the trail, a decision to alter the alignment slightly from the design plans led to the trail crossing a property line that was not apparent in the field," Cherek said. "It is unclear at this time as to why or how the decision was made, but a slight encroachment onto the Naatz property occurred.
"We have to do the right thing and correct the problem," Cherek said.
The city tried to negotiate an easement over the property. The trust eventually accepted a $5,000 purchase offer. The amount was figured using estimated residential land values.