We're not sure if their actions are strategic or altruistic or a little of both, but we sure like the plan proposed by two developers for 250 acres on Candy Mountain.
The men plan to make a hiking and horseback riding trail on Candy Mountain, which is the peak next to the very popular Badger Mountain.
They will also develop a portion of the land as well, building 40 homes on the east shoulder of the mountain. Plans are to leave the top alone, except for the hiking trail.
Talks already are under way with the Friends of Badger Mountain group, in hopes of connecting to the much-used trails on Badger.
It's a step to the long-term goal of a series of connected trails along the Mid-Columbia's rivers and ridges, including public trails on Candy and Red mountains.
Each vista would offer different views of the area, and provide more places for people to get outside. Judging from the Badger trails' popularity -- 160,000 visits in 2011 -- our community is clamoring for more accessible hiking areas.
Both landowners have an affinity for outdoor activities, and one is a retired emergency room physician who wants people to have an area to get some exercise.
The property owners still have hurdles in front of them to make the plan a reality. Benton County would have to approve the development of homes in a cluster near the bottom of the hill, rather than the required five-acre parcels. That would allow them to leave more of the mountain undeveloped, as much as 110 acres in open spaces.
They also would need to find out if they could connect to West Richland's water and sewer systems.
We know development on the hills surrounding the Tri-Cities is going to continue. Let's face it, people like homes with a view. But this seems like a great plan to keep much of Candy Mountain clear of development, while permitting the property owners some return on their investment with a strategically placed housing development.
And it brings the dream of a ridgeline and river trail system one step closer to reality.