Zoning dispute in West Richland

Zoning dispute in West Richland
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - More shopping centers and strip malls are popping up around the Tri-Cities. For one town, that development is getting some push back.

A grass-roots movement in West Richland is trying to stop city council from taking over the neighborhood.

There aren't a lot of restaurants or places to go shopping in West Richland, but the city is looking to change that.

It's developing long-term plans to change the landscape from farms to shopping centers. That starts with the corner of Bombing Range Road and Van Giesen.

Ed Coyne, is against the changes. He said, "We're not looking forward to this at all."

He is part of a grass-roots movement to stop this development. His house is directly in the way and says the traffic would devastate his neighborhood.

The area was initially meant for homes, but nothing was built.
A zoning change last month by city council opens the door to businesses.

A Grigg's Department store is slated to go in on the corner. A fast food restaurant, office and retail space as well as a new city hall complex are also being considered.

Ed and other opponents have brought their concerns to every public hearing and meeting. They feel like they're not being taken seriously.

He said, "We're kinda stuck. They said the city staff recommended this change, well, who's the city staff? We don't vote those people in."

To get all sides, KEPR reached out to city officials for their side.
Our request for an interview was denied.

We were simply told that re-zoning and projects like this are important to securing the financial future of the city.

Ed and his neighbors don't plan to quit. They are hopeful, but realistic.

"It only takes 4 or 5 people to push something in a government this small," he said.

A government push that will change this rustic landscape.

Opponents of the development plan to picket at next week's city council meeting.