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Local Conservation Group Fighting Proposed Road Extension Through Preserve in Richland

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The Tapteal Greenway wants the city of Richland to do away with potentially extending Rachel Road to Steptoe Street; the conservation group says it would be harmful to the Amon Creek Natural Preserve. The Tapteal Greenway wants the city of Richland to do away with potentially extending Rachel Road to Steptoe Street; the conservation group says it would be harmful to the Amon Creek Natural Preserve.
RICHLAND, WA - The Tapteal Greenway wants the city of Richland to do away with potentially extending Rachel Road to Steptoe Street; the conservation group says it would be harmful to the Amon Creek Natural Preserve.

The proposal is part of the city's six-year transportation improvement plan.

In 2007, the Tapteal Greenway entered an agreement with the city of Richland to preserve the land. The agreement states that the property can never be used for residential, commercial or industrial purposes. However, it also gives the city the right to build a public road across the preserve, if it meets the needs of the people.

The Amon Creek Preserve sits on 60 acres of land just southeast of Badger Mountain.

Hayden Homes is planning to build a new subdivision, adjacent to the preserve, called "Clearwater Creek." But, the company is also working with the conservation group to help create a buffer zone around the preserve.

Scott Woodward, the president of Tapteal Greenway, says the preserve is a community asset.

"This is the last thing left in our region--specifically in Richland--that has wetlands, shrub-steppe, jack rabbits, 150 species of birds and 47 plant species," said Woodward. "There's nothing like it, and it's the last piece."

Pete Rogalsky, the public works director for Richland, says nothing is set in stone right now.

"When growth happens, there's new people, people need to move around," Rogalsky. "There has to be connections to efficiently move people around, and in between the topography and previous developments in that area, there are very few opportunities to connect people across city boundaries."

Rogalsky recommends the city conduct a study to determine the effects of the proposed plan. He says the road extension, if approved, is still several years away.

If you have an opinion on the matter, you can attend the city's planning commission meeting. It's scheduled for Wednesday, May 28th at City Hall, and starts at 7:00 p.m.
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