Fast Focus: Give some assurances

October 7, 2012 

ROBERT BRADFORD, Pasco

I understand as well as anyone the desire to maintain the lifestyle in the doughnut hole but fear the creation of a new city may prove unworkable.

I've lived a good part of my 58 years in the "doughnut hole." I grew up in it, moved out for most of the 70s, moved back, was annexed into the city and have recently moved back into the doughnut hole.

I had no complaints when my previous home was annexed into the city. I was in an established neighborhood with no undeveloped land and no potential for further development. There was no discernible change to the neighborhood with annexation.

I decided it was time for a return to the rural lifestyle I grew up with. I bought a half acre lot, thankfully the county requires residential building lots of no less than one-half acre, and built a new home. It's great to be back in the county with a mix of small farms, cornfields, orchards and homes on large lots.

I believe the root concern of those opposed to annexation is the threat of smaller lot sizes the city will allow with the availability of city sewer. High density housing -- anything more than one single family residence per half acre, in this context, is unacceptable. Current residents are rightfully concerned. With few exceptions, city councils overwhelmingly side with developers over the wishes of neighborhood residents when developers lobby for smaller lot sizes. Rumors are rampant. "An apartment complex is planned for that cornfield." "An unprincipled council member will financially benefit from a land sale after annexation."

Anyone living next to undeveloped land understands the potential for that land to be developed. Assurance more meaningful than a vague "the building lots won't be that much smaller" would go a long way toward alleviating current residents concerns.

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