Posted: Jun 18, 2012 6:23 PM by Elizabeth Hill
Updated: Jun 19, 2012 10:06 AM
The UL System Board of Supervisor's voting today in favor of letting the University sell the horse farm property to the City of Lafayette.
The city will acquire the Johnston Street property in exchange for Youth Park.
Next, the City-Parish Council will review an ordinance detailing the terms of the transaction.
The Council is set to begin that discussion at tomorrow's meeting.
With this deal the city will have a new 100 acre park and the university will have money to expand.
Tens of thousands of people drive down this part of Johnston Street everyday.
Many have probably never noticed the 100 acre's of farm land behind these trees.
"This is one of the last remaining huge pieces of land in the middle of the city."
It's the old UL horse farm.
Since 2005 Elizabeth "E.B." Brooks has fought to protect it from the threat of development.
"For this to be developed into another gated community with a strip mall in the front it's just not really what this city needs. what this city needs is another girard park, we need more places to go an recreate."
Once it's complete the park will be about three times the size of Girard Park. It will be a passive park meaning there will be no basketball courts or baseball and soccer fields.
"We don't have a lot of really beautiful passive recreation places where we can just go and have a picnic or festivals."
With so many possibilities it's already a win for Lafayette. Making the deal even sweeter is the $6 million the University will gain from the sale.
"Our University, which is so important to our region has the ability to expand because they have dedicated that money for the acquisition of more lands."
The City has ten years to complete the park or else give it back to the University. No plans have been drawn up yet, but if the council votes in favor of the ordinance at its July 3 meeting the Community Foundation of Acadiana will take over the initial phase of planning and fundraising.