After months of contention, community members and the Scandia City Council reached an agreement to renovate a small rural boat landing on the St. Croix River.
Late last month, the council approved a committee's recommendation to replace the dirt road leading to the Log House Landing with a 13-foot-wide paved lane.
The decision was made after a citizens group, Friends of the Log House Landing, approached city officials with concerns about the preservation of the site, which for decades has been a backwater launching spot for canoeists and kayakers.
Some community members have long opposed changes to the more than 150-year-old landing and have pressed the council to maintain the original contour of the road while preventing the removal of historic trees.
Streambank erosion prompted the action to improve the site. In October, the Log House Landing Advisory Committee — made up of City Council, Planning Commission, Watershed District and community members — was appointed to research renovation options.
On a 3-2 vote, the City Council approved most of the committee's recommendations. However, it voted to install a paved parking lane instead of a gravel surface, which had been specified by the committee.
"This is a really solid compromise," said Pam Plowman Smith, an advisory committee member.
Still, the committee said it plans to continue to present alternatives to installing a paved parking lane. The council planned to hear recommendations on the issue last week.
Councilman Chris Ness said one alternative to paving could be putting down a type of gravel that would hold up in the parking areas.
Construction at the Log House Landing is projected to begin in late summer, pending approval from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources.
Blair Emerson is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.