Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Editorial: Construction is on; bumps lie ahead

The unnamed Courier editor comes out clearly, if limply, in favor of widening WVR, and by extension in favor of housing and commercial growth in upper Williamson Valley. It may be that he's only really thinking in terms of his own convenience in maneuvering his oversized pickup, but let's consider for a second the wider implications, so to speak

The City has made it clear that it has no interest in more annexations in the valley. So new homes up there will be on county land, exempt from the state water regime. Williamson Valley is a smaller but significant watershed for the Big Chino aquifer, and exempt wells are a significant factor in whether we can achieve safe water yield.

Closer in, the road serves an area of mini-ranches: horses (and horse-trailers), wildlife, pedestrians without sidewalks, tractors and school buses clog a road that winds through trees, dales and homes. Farther out it's straighter and easier to navigate, but in town there's a reason it's slow.

Widening the road will cut back hillsides, level out dips and hills, clear back trees, cut into properties and put the homes even closer to the road. There's no question that it will permanently change the character of the area, complicate people's lives, reduce quality of life and squash a lot more coyotes, skunks, deer, cats and dogs.

What's the upside? Smoother, faster traffic flow to places that haven't been built yet. If that's your idea of a good investment of public funds, you're welcome to it.


coyoteradiotheater said...

WV can't handle the water load by itself with wells. If you know 5 people who live there, you know 3 -4 who've had their well run dry at least once. I have to assume the newbies who move into their DE-LUXE horse-property ranchettes in future will then scream blood-murder and demand water be run into them by someone in return for something. How I long to subsidize their folly. (Please note, the ironicometer is sounding.)

Steven Ayres said...

Good point!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it time that the Courier admit that the 5-lane expressway will lead to commercial expansion along the road. Why can't the Courier face the reality that Williamson Valley will look like Prescott Valley along Hwy 69. Woe to the Courier.