Great, great-grandson of Eugene Skinner will intervene in butterfly lot dispute

Does the fine print in Eugene Skinner's 1855 deed for the town square block a potential land swap involving the butterfly parking lot at 8th and Oak? (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. – Ken Darling, the great, great-grandson of Eugene and Mary Skinner, says he plans to intervene in the court action recently filed by Lane County and the City of Eugene over the “butterfly parking lot.”

“The land swap the city and county now have under discussion would likewise violate my great-great grandparents’ intentions for their gift of property,” Darling said.

He said he feels an obligation to make sure the conditions of the Skinners’ deed are honored 160 years after it was created.

The restriction in the deed says the property should remain in the county's possession.

The city and county are trying to determine if Eugene Skinner’s 1855 deed for the town square block allows for a potential land swap involving the butterfly parking lot.

The lot is located at 8th and Oak and the city is eying it as a location for the new City Hall.

"Both the city and county legal teams have looked at that and they agree, it doesn't look like there's anything that would prevent that from happening," said Jan Bohman with the City of Eugene.

Eugene's original City Hall was built where the butterfly lot stands today.

But in 1909, county officials determined the City Hall was there illegally.

The question now is: do the restrictions still apply?

Both the city and the county hope the answer is no.

Darling hopes the conditions will still stand firm.

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