Future expansion of the Lagoon amusement park would require the closure of Lagoon Lane in Farmington, cutting about 1,000 feet out of the middle of the street and converting its two ends to cul-de-sacs.
The park has requested the street be vacated, with the City Council setting a Feb. 6 public hearing on the request.Lagoon has acquired much of the land adjacent to Lagoon Lane over the past several years, but some other nearby homeowners object to the closure. The city's Planning Commission has also gone on record as opposing the closure.
The park's master plan calls for the closure of the street to allow construction of several new rides, including a log flume, river rapids and mine train.
As part of the expansion, a pond, softball and soccer fields and jogging path connecting the two street stubs would also be built for public use.
City officials, including the fire and police chief, indicated they have no objections to closing the street if adequate access to the park's interior is maintained for emergency responses. A utility easement for access to city water and utility lines would also be needed, according to the public works department.
Under Lagoon's plan one of the two cul-de-sacs would be designated as 300 North, extending 650 feet west from Main Street. The second, still called Lagoon Lane, would run 900 feet south from 600 North.
The vacated area, which would be either given or sold to Lagoon, totals about 1.1 acres.
Lagoon Vice President David Freed said the amusement park doesn't plan to build the new rides immediately but is planning for the future, following the park's master plan that has been reviewed and approved by the city.
Closing Lagoon Lane's center portion will restore the circular traffic flow lost when the park built its water park in 1989, Freed said. It will also enhance safety, giving park visitors access to all the rides without crossing a public street.
A suggestion to reroute, rather than close, the street would cost between $200,000 and $300,000, Freed said, and would devastate the natural riparian area along Farmington Creek.