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Lafayette City Council on Tuesday approved the $3.3 million purchase of 23.5 acres it is eyeing as open space.

City staff for at least two months have been in discussions with Baseline Lafayette, LLC to buy the land at the southeast corner of Baseline Road and 119th Street.

The property is to the immediate west of the Waneka Centennial Farm, which the city purchased in November and is the former Lowe’s site.

The property is zoned for commercial use, but Council could vote at a later date to zone it to open space.

The money for the purchase will come from the Legacy Open Space Fund.

The city’s Open Space Division is funded by two local sales and use taxes , including the Legacy Fund,  which is for land acquisitions and maintenance.

In 2017, voters approved an indefinite extension of the Legacy Open Space Tax.

“This is a pretty exciting purchase,” City Administrator Fritz Sprague.

Mayor Pro Tem Stephanie Walton, who is the liaison to the city’s Open Space Advisory Committee, said the group also was excited about the purchase.

“The value to the community is worth more than the actual dollar price, I think, when it comes to the value we put on open space,” Walton said.

She said the committee discussed the purchase price, but felt comfortable going forward.

“It’s exactly what our residents have been asking for,” said Councilmember Tonya Briggs. “It’s a great way to tie in to other communities with trails.”

The city could close on the site on June 9.

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