Letter: Development plans threaten Amon Creek Natural Preserve

August 26, 2013 

Hayden Homes is proposing to build a 460-unit housing development adjacent to the Amon Creek Natural Preserve, which would have devastating consequences for this local treasure. In its response to state-mandated questions on environmental impacts, Hayden Homes has exhibited an astonishing ignorance of the Amon Basin area and a callous disregard for any impacts its project would have. For example, in response to the question, "What is the current use of the site and adjacent properties?" the developer described the region as, "Vacant land with no use."

Really? I suspect that the thousands of people who visit the area for hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing and educational programs would strenuously disagree.

Richland's Strategic Leadership Plan presents a vision for development that explicitly includes the preservation of natural and environmentally sensitive areas, investment in recreational and leisure amenities that make Richland an attractive place to live and visit and a balance of private and public interests in these efforts. The Hayden Homes project fails badly on all of these counts.

Those who value the protection of the Amon Creek Natural Preserve should make their concerns known to Richland city officials soon. There will be no second chance to save it.

CHRIS DORAN, Richland

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