Land Use Policy of 1.1 of the City states that the city accommodate new residential and commercial development in areas with available infrastructure and services. This development dismally fails this requirement as there is little infrastructure present in the area to meet the needs of the proposed development.

Land Use Policy 1.3 which encourages infill development to provide additional housing for the city would not be followed. There are already many obvious infill opportunities to fill the actual or perceived housing gap and would contribute to urban sprawl when there ought to be an emphasis on infill development closer to existing infrastructure.

Land Use Policy 1.4 states “Balance commercial, industrial, and residential development with the conservation of natural resources and open space by directing growth to areas already served by infrastructure” Once again this area does not qualify but there are other areas that meet this policy and available for infill.

Land Use Policy 1.8 states, “Encourage new population and commercial growth in the north and northwest portions of the urban growth area” The south part of Walla Walla already has many new development projects in progress, why more? Especially considering this one requires more infrastructure to be built and eventually maintained.

Land Use Policy 4.4 states, “Ensure that new subdivisions and housing developments retain natural qualities including topography, natural features and native vegetation to minimize impacts to the surrounding ecosystem.” This is urban sprawl being made at the expense of topography and natural features. There is no way that making large berms and using fill can be considered as retaining the natural features of the area. Approval of this plan would be a blatant disregard of this policy.

In the end the City Council should reject this development proposal and subsequent annexation. Passing it will sap confidence in government as it would blatantly state that government will not follow its own guidelines. Traffic, pedestrian and cyclist safety will be severely compromised, and aquifer recharge jeopardized. Finally, in the end it will be financially expensive for the city in the long run as it will be forced to maintain all the new infrastructure put in while the developer has long left the scene. Walla Walla has sufficient infill within existing city limits to add housing and enough existing problems with infrastructure, it does not need to add another headache.

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