Your Opinion: Development plan raises safety, environmental issues

Dear Editor:

Ultimately, our City Council will decide whether approval of a uniquely troubling land development plan is good for our community as a whole. It is not.

The plan is to run a subdivision street off the far eastern edge of Hayselton Drive where a private driveway now intersects a hairpin turn. The same plan was submitted last year, only to be withdrawn before the Council’s scheduled hearing.

This Council’s decision will tell us a lot about Jefferson City’s commitment to the greening of our city, since the developers would destroy the last significant forested land adjacent to the Missouri River and west of the bridge.

It would also damage neighborhood integrity while endangering the safety of its residents.

Neither action could be confused as a good way to attract eco-friendly families to live in Jefferson City. A possible 15-home subdivision is not much of an attraction when it discourages safe travel.

The passage of a year doesn’t make a bad plan better. It does, however, tend to lessen your opinion of the people involved in bringing it up again.

Remember, these are the folks who wanted to sell us: Condos on the Bluffs, in 2005 with access off of West Main Street. The condos were never built. It was topographically impossible to access the land from West Main. Five years passed. Then in 2010 and now in 2011 their plan, or pipe dream changed.

The proposal now is to run construction trucks up and down tiny, winding Hayselton Drive, and to access the land at the narrowest and most dangerous point on the street. They promise to sell us: Fifteen Relatively Modest Homes Some of Which Are on the Bluffs Where We Thought We Could Build Condos, But We Really Couldn’t.

There is no safe access off Hayselton Drive. Any attempt would create a public safety nightmare. Environmentally, disaster looms. Several lots would abut a natural stream which snakes though the property from west to east and empties into the Missouri River. The stream will be polluted. The only question is how badly. Have you noticed the return of the bald eagles? In the winter they perch in the woods which will be destroyed to clear lots.

What kind of growth do we want? What price are we willing to pay? I prefer to live where eagles soar. I prefer a clean stream. As for 15 imaginary homes? I’ll take a pass.

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