6/4/2013 1:59:00 PM Letters to the Editor 06/05/2013
To the Editor:
Remember when a lot of us rode the bus to Salem to block ill-advised development along the Metolius? That kind of devotion is needed to block HB3536, a bill introduced by John Huffman late in the season, without fanfare or publicity. HB3536 proposes to transfer the development rights from one of those blocked developments to the Cyrus family on their agricultural lands and those near Aspen Lakes, including land bordering Whychus Creek.
Although the Cyrus' requests for destination resort status have been repeatedly rejected under existing law, HB3536 would grant that request via state law, bypassing local processes. The bill proposes a new category of development - a "Heritage Guest Ranch" - that meets criteria so specific that it's clearly a special-interest law. The name sounds lovely, but the "Ranch" could include 480 residential units, unspecified additional overnight units, a 100-space RV park, another golf course, and other facilities.
There are numerous reasons why this is bad law: It allows development next to Whychus Creek, increases traffic on one of the Sisters Scenic Bikeways, and ushers in high-density activities in a peaceful, pastoral area. But the worst thing is that this law is an end run of the local land-use process, a coup that has been worked carefully but behind closed doors. The hearing is scheduled for June 5, and we just found out about this over the weekend. The legislature has not asked for neighborhood input and there has been nothing about this in the local papers, nothing on Huffman's web site. So we need to get our reactions to the legislators in a hurry so they will know that we don't want this law.
We need to force the Cyrus family and Aspen Lakes development to ask for development options in the usual ways, not through an end run in Salem. This effort to subvert the normal processes is just plain wrong. If you want to help turn the tide, unfortunately you can't testify to the House committee that is reviewing this unless you leave soon, as the hearing is at 3 p.m. Wednesday. But the Senate also has to consider this legislation, so you still have time to voice your opinion. Write to Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org or Sen.email@example.com.
And please tell your representative - especially if it is Huffman - that you do not appreciate this sneaky end run of the normal land-use process!
To the Editor:
On Monday, May 27, at about 2 p.m., I took notice of the back-in parking issue in town. There were 26 cars parked in the back-in area; 23 were parked in forward. Based on my observation, the majority were from out of the area.
Let me see - the back-in parking is to protect the bikes. This is a holiday weekend when plenty of bikes are out; it is daylight. I saw no citations issued.
Several weeks ago several cars were cited at night for not parking between the lines. I wonder how many bikes were out that late. How many of you can back into two lines at night and get it right?
This truly speaks to the insanity of this issue. When are those responsible for this going to admit that it is a total fail!?
To the Editor:
To correct errors in letters to the editor in The Nugget dated May 29 (regarding a proposed paved trail from Sisters to Black Butte Ranch):
Mr. Madsen was indeed at the Tollgate board meeting September 25, 2012, when the Tollgate board voted to send a letter of support for the Sisters/Black Butte trail. Mr. Werts was unable to attend since the board meeting was "conveniently" held at 10 a.m., not evenings as they are usually held. Several people told me they could not attend due to the meeting conflicting with work.
Three days prior to the Tollgate board meeting, a letter was hand-delivered to the Tollgate office requesting that the board delay their decision. This delay was requested due to the results of a petition signed by 135 Tollgate residents, 63 percent of whom were opposed to any trail. No resident signing the petition approved of the trail as proposed by the Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The letter asked the board to conduct further outreach to the residents of Tollgate prior to making a decision.
Mr. Madsen asked quite vocally at the September 25 meeting if the board intended to ignore both the results of the petition and the letter requesting a delay in their decision. The letter was ignored. The results of the petition were ignored.
The support for the paved trail was given by six individuals - the Tollgate board. The board did not, and has not ever, asked for input regarding the paved trail from Tollgate residents.