Loma Rica purchase an excellent idea | TheUnion.com

Loma Rica purchase an excellent idea

Contrary to the point of view expressed in The Union’s recent editorial, the suggestion by Supervisor Conklin to pursue a grant to buy 154 acres of the Loma Rica ranch for a park demonstrates his vision and leadership.

When I attended hearings on the development plan for the property in Grass Valley known as Mulcahy Field, I became aware of studies indicating that for a region with our population and projected growth rate, additional recreational facilities were needed. In fact, this was the main justification at the time for plans to stick two competition soccer fields, and basketball courts, on a vacant lot in the middle of an established residential neighborhood. I thought then that it would be more appropriate as a county project.

Now there is this opportunity to buy the Loma Rica ranch. A park at this site would have little residential impact and yet be located between population centers. This is preferable to the Grass Valley annexation development plan for the Loma Rica property, proposing a smaller area for park and suggesting 94 acres for upscale housing, which, besides not being an efficient use of land, isn’t what we really need here anyway. Space is a valuable resource.

Some choices for development, once made, change a place irrevocably. Growth and development are not necessarily equivalent to progress. We have seen what has happened in other parts of California; here we still have the opportunity to plan for growth so that this continues to be a good place for all of us to live. Yes, affordable housing and economic development are important. However, development should be designed so that higher density is not equivalent to the anonymity of large apartment complexes or malls. Compact development should be considered that reduces the need for frequent car trips, frustrating traffic snarls, and wasteful use of resources. Human beings are adaptable, but we should not have to adapt to soulless ugliness for someone else’s short-term profit when we have the choice to do otherwise.

I applaud our BOS for addressing these complex issues and balancing individual interests with the common good.

Shirley Benedick

Grass Valley

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