Boy Scout Deal to Move Forward In City Council

Councilman Darrell Clarke today introduced an ordinance that would allow the regional Boy Scouts association to buy their Logan Square headquarters from the city, with some conditions.

As the ordinance is currently written, one condition of the deal is that the Scouts would be required "to provide space at the property for use by local community organizational activity, including but not limited to programming focusing on diversity, throughout the term of the agreement." The Scouts would also not be permitted to sell the building or the land for ten years.

Clarke stressed that there was still no final consensus on the issue, but said he hoped the introduction would "facilitate further discussion."

The proposal, announced last month, calls for the Boy Scouts group to pay the city $500,000 to buy its 13,000-square-foot headquarters in Logan Square, the focus of a civil-rights dispute that began over the Scouts' national ban on gay members.

The deal has drawn criticism from the city's gay leaders and other prominent residents. The price tag is less than half the appraised value of the building. But the settlement would end an expensive legal fight and the risk that city taxpayers would eventually have to pay the Scouts' legal bills, now approaching $1 million.

The legislation still will require Council review and a final vote in the new year.

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