"November 15, 2010
I’ve written to the city before regarding the so-called park approved for the former Cummings property. I’ve looked at the most recent documents that refer to a few proposed changes in plan for the PZD.
I believe the city owes the public more than a superficial revisiting of the plan for these 900+ acres. Many citizens appear to think it’s discredited and defunct, gone with the most recent bubble. It awaits the next mini-boom, and if built, come the next downturn, it will be dispiriting at best. You have the authority to rethink this now.
Removing a small number of planned "residential units" still leaves well over an unsustainable 4,000 with attendant "infrastructure". There’s even a request in the paperwork for 3 acres of "septic" for property to be extracted from the PZD. This after the city’s outlay of hundreds of thousands of dollars recently on enlarging sewer lines between this development and the eastside (!) plant under a cost/share agreement that I suppose has lost its "share" potential. The city is cutting corners elsewhere. What about budgetary concerns here? Construction will cost the city now, and maintenance costs will be with the city for decades.
The changes in the city’s plan don’t affect my view that nature (and consequently most people) will lose now and in the future through this scheme. The property in question isn’t suited to the kind of development suggested by the colorful "booklet" and various other hyperbolic descriptions. Part of it could best be small-scale agricultural, most should be preserved as natural habitat and not reconstituted without extensive ecological study. The flatland is partially wetland and drainage, the hillsides are erosive if disturbed and unstable at all times. The totality is what the city should be preserving under its own "green" umbrella. To suggest that private owners should label their cultivated backyards as "habitat" (thereby helping to polish the city’s image), while simultaneously consigning to destruction land that’s been habitat for birds and other wildlife over decades or centuries, is self-contradictory and short-sighted. It is not in the long-term interest of the public.