Ecologist and Horse Trails?!?!

Sitting on the planning commission of Caledonia affords me a unique opportunity to see some of the odd things coming down the pipe and this move to expand Caledonia’s governmental role is just another oddball scheme dreamed up by people who have more money and time than they have brains.

A group of thoughtful (I’ll use that term since I still have to deal with them from time to time) citizens have come forward and decided that the Conservation Subdivision ordinance, that requires developers to earmark 40-60% of their developable land to “open-space”, is not being interpreted properly and that in order to have this done properly it would be in “our” best interest to hire an ecologist…or at least contract with one.

A quick search of nearly any city in America will yield zero ecologists on staff. Caledonia is different though. Here we have the very active Kenosha-Racine Land Trust that would benefit greatly from having this position. This group and others will continue to demand that we “need this position to preserve the rural character of our community.”

This is a load of horse manure!!! Oh yeah manure…did everyone read about the other bit of “green” news? The Caledonia Conservancy…similar membership to the Kenosha-Racine Land Trust…has recommended, through a paid public official Wendy McCalvy, that Caledonia, not the Caledonia Conservancy, purchase additional acreage to complete Tabor Woods. If that was not bad enough it was then further recommended that the Parks ordinance be rewritten to allow horses on to this public park.

I have an idea for the Caledonia Conservancy…buy your own land! My recommendation to the board would be the following…if you believe that this is a worthwhile investment for the community why have you not made a move to protect this land prior to this? If in the end you decide that this land is worth our tax dollars then I would strongly recommend that you keep this park in line with all the other parks in Caledonia and forbid horses from the land.

Caledonia is being used and the board is either too blind to see it or has no desire to fight…I ask you as a Caledonian to fight for the village not some small interest group!

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3 comments so far

  1. kids b4 horses on

    Thank your for bringing this to our attention.

    I’ve heard the board is hesitant to do a study that could possibly lead to a separate school district and a better education for Caledonia kids, yet the money seems readily available for more parks. Not that I think more parks are a bad thing, just wondering where the priority is.

    I was also under the assumption, the ball diamonds at Crawford Park were to be finished and updated for the baseball leagues before any additional parks would be started. Would that come before the Planning Commission?

    One thing I’m not certain of, is Caledonia going to pay for part of the park, or will it be entirely paid by a grant?

  2. Kathy on

    Kids b4 horses, as I understand it(maybe I’m wrong) the grant will only pay for 1/2 of the cost of this park. Please feel free to read the minutes to the March 12th special meeting regarding this matter. I just hope,(and would recommend) that they do not take money away from Crawford Park to fund their “hobbies”.

    GOP, what I find more disturbing about this issue is that this property butts up against Mr. Stacey’s property. Thereby ensuring that that land will never be developed. In essence allowing Mr. Stacey to retain, if not gain value in his own property; and he did not recuse himself from any of the votes in this matter.

    In terms of all of this land use stuff…I’m new to all of this, so I’m still trying to learn/understand it. But from what I’ve seen so far, I can tell you that I have a fundamental problem with the way this is set up. I understand and am in favor of maintaining green space. However, I think that it is a miscarrage of justice that farmers whose farms have been in their family for generations are being told how they can develop their land, while it seems to benefit a few. Particularily, the fact that instead being allowed to have one house on an acre of land, they require one house on five acres of land, in essence devaluing the land to the farmer. Wendy Mcalvey describes this in the March 12th meeting that I mentioned earlier. I think that it is not fair to these farmers and I would not be surprised if they sought some kind of recourse.

  3. Kathy on

    In regard to having an ecologist on staff, that is a complete waste. Developers are required to consult with one before they develop. If the complaint is that these developers aren’t following the rules, then enforce the rules. If the developer fails to contact an ecologist in a timely manner, then the Village should consult with one and bill it to the developer. Maybe, there’s more to this than I am understanding? If there is, could you fill me in? I would appreciate it.

    One consistent problem that I am seeing in Caledonia is that Caledonia is very reactive instead of being proactive, but I guess that’s everywhere.


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