I've worked on Tapteal Greenway's Amon Creek Preserve efforts since the beginning. We have spent hours working with hundreds of citizens clearing trash and junk between Amon Creek and KID Amon Creek Wasteway and on restoration of the damaged area. Over a period of seven years I have watched the concept of the preserve slowly, bit by bit, be torn apart. The Tri-City Herald's opinion on the viability of the Rachel Road extension was good news. That extension will be the last insult to the Amon Creek Preserve.
The upcoming Richland City Council meeting to approve the Hayden Homes proposed zoning changes and residential plat development plan are the critical decisions facing the viability of the preserve. The Rachel Road extension will be a side issue as to which of two plat plans will be accepted.
The city council will face two decisions: First, to accept the rezoning of a major portion of the Amon Basin from agriculture to residential; Second, to accept either the Hayden Home housing plat which includes a provision for the Rachel Road Extension or accept the compromised plat (between Hayden Homes and Tapteal Greenway) that has slightly expanded buffers (partially paid for by Tapteal Greenway) and an alternative provision for connecting Leslie to Steptoe. The second plat proposal is Tapteal's last desperate attempt to protect the Amon Preserve habitat.
It is hard to believe that the last remaining viable nature preserve in Richland is being compromised by a plan that places a large number of homes along a railroad right of way and along two sides of one of the largest electric substation in the area.
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The Hayden Home plat proposals are not optimal for both humans and the Amon Basin wildlife. The Richland City Council should first listen to current citizens/voters on what the future needs are for Richland and last to the developer's needs.
The city council should reject the proposed zone change and give specific directions, with advice from Tapteal Greenway, to Hayden Homes as to which areas are acceptable locations for the zone changes.
-- ROBERT BENEDETTI, Richland