From houses to open space in Richland

From houses to open space in Richland
RICHLAND, Wash. - Richland has plans to shore up land left over from housing developments.

Instead of homes, it'll all be open space.

Edward Lawson moved to Richland almost a decade ago, across the street from an apple orchard. He says he found his paradise, until the bulldozers came in.

"He's hitting every one of those trees going, boom boom boom. I say what's that guy doing, boom boom. I thought he was drunk or something," he said.

It was part of the city's long term plans to develop neighborhoods.
Tract housing that would bring money into the city by way of property taxes.

It did just that. The city expects over 13 million dollars next year. Still, driving around streets are peppered with for sale signs.

Edward says, "Why can't we just wait for awhile, see what our income is doing for a while? Are we doing good? Do we really need homes there?"

Close to 70 acres of land once zoned for development will change to natural open space zones. From the Horn Rapids area, to land near the Falconcrest plat, the land will stay undeveloped.

The undeveloped half of the Badger Mountain Community Park will stay as is.

The city won't lose anything by re-zoning. There is plenty of tax revenue to be had from existing properties.

By having all this open natural space the city hopes to continue to improve the quality of life.

Development manager Rick Simon says it was time for the city to make the zoning change official. Plans are already in the works on how best to use the land.

He said, "These spots do provide opportunities for trail extensions and connections."

This gives neighbors more options for outdoor activity.

Edward would like development to slow down. "Is this going to grow like New York City. I'm from there and I don't want to go back to that," he said.

Luckily for him, it won't come to that.