Big plans for big hole in Richland

Big plans for big hole in Richland »Play Video
RICHLAND, Wash. -- You've heard it before, the big pit in Richland will be filled. With the CRHEST Museum set to be torn down some neighbors are worried a bigger eyesore is on the way.

In fact, one Richland mom went so far as to file a complaint with code enforcement, suggesting the city was violating its own laws.

KEPR learned that this lone complaint got the ball rolling on plans for the vacant lot again.

Resident Dori Gilmour said, ""What is the city doing?' And they just wouldn't answer me."

She is fed up with the big pit on George Washington Way in Richland. Dori felt dismissed by the city, so she wrote a letter to the editor of the Tri-City Herald.

Next, she sounded off on Facebook.

It wasn't until Dori filed a code enforcement complaint against the City of Richland that she felt her concerns were taken seriously.

Code enforcement came out and took a look at the area including the pit. They say there is no public nuisance here that the land falls within city code so no code violation was issued.

Dori wasn't finished. This stay-at-home mom with a brood of children to care for, made the time to take on the city.

She said, "Why not me? I'm just a regular mom in tennis shoes just like other moms in tennis shoes, right? Who else is going to do it if I don't do it?"

It was Dori's insistence, along with our calls to city leaders, that got things moving again.

Paul Carlisle and Adam Brault are partnering up on the project. We reported on it last year. It will be called Spectrum Park.

Paul said, "There's very little detail the city can share about our business plans for that."

But after all the noise Dori was making, the builder decided to go public. Their vision: create a tech-hub with Silicon Valley flavor, fostering a growing industry apart from Hanford.

Adam said, "That portion of the economy to grow in the next few years, and we feel like this building could be a centerpiece for that."

Both men are Tri-Cities natives. Their businesses here are a way to help the city sustain itself. This is their next step.

Dori is getting answers, but it's likely the city hasn't heard the last of her.

"That would be a great start, and then we can bring other things for our community," she said.

A final decision on a developer will be made in coming months, with the hope that the project will be complete in the next two years.