New Housing Development

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I have lived in the same house for over 20 years and the area across the street from the neighborhood has always been a agricultural field.

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There were some changes over the years: the field was planted with soybeans or corn or wheat – we always tried to observe the sprouts growing into seedlings as we went by to discover which it would be. The margins changed when herbicides came into popular use. Crop stubble was left, and tillage was reduced over the years – never leaving the soil bare for long or at all. And now – the process to develop the land into a residential neighborhood has started.

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The development is in the initial phase with civil engineers doing studies and developing a sketch plan. Last week there was a ‘pre-submission community meeting’ (part of the county’s Development Review Process) that was crowded…people standing all around the edges of the room because the seats were full. It was my first experience at this kind of meeting and I was glad I got there early enough to get a seat. There was a lot of tension in the room with a lot of questions about the impact on already clogged roads and overcrowded schools. I am on the mailing list to get the responses to the issues raised within the next 30 days. I’m also sign up to the community Facebook page so that I can learn from others in the community that know more about how to maneuver within the process to protect the interest of the already existing neighborhoods…if this new development proceeds.

One of the new things I learned in the meeting was that the traffic issues on the roads now are largely due to a development that did not complete as planned and provide an entrance/exit to a major through street; instead the development only uses the narrow 2 lane roads in place prior to the development which were not designed for the volume of traffic they now carry. No wonder the people that have been following the issues for years are openly distrustful of the process and the developers rather than starting out in ‘trust but verify’ mode.

It’s positive that there are so many people engaged at this point…that the big issues have been surfaced. This is becoming my close-to-home HoLLIE-like project!