Fighting to save Amon Basin Preserve

Fighting to save Amon Basin Preserve
RICHLAND, Wash. - KEPR is looking closer at the mega-neighborhood planned for south Richland.

Those supporting green space say the hundreds of homes will equal the death of Amon Basin. A citizen group hasn't stopped trying to save it.

Developing this 100 acres of natural, open space into a large reserve has been a decade in the making. Almost half of what you see here will eventually be leveled and paved. That's the fear of Scott Woodward.

He said, "They want 460 homes, we don't want anything. Now we got to figure out where that meets in the middle."

Scott is president of Tapteal Greenway. A band of Richland neighbors dedicated to the upkeep of the Amon Basin Preserve in south Richland. It's the empty land straddled by Leslie Road on the west and Clearwater on the east.

There was once big plans for this entire area, like a Central Park with more of a nature feel. Those plans are all but gone and the group is just trying to hang on to the little piece that's left.

Once the area is cleared, the entire trail system as it's known will change and can never be restored. Activities like trail hiking, educational field trips, mountain biking and bird watching will be limited.

The former land owner has sold most of it off. That cleared the way for this project and the extension of nearby Rachel Road.

The only option for saving part of the preserve is working with everyone involved.

Scott said, "We want the developer to be sensitive towards the neighborhoods, it's that simple."

Richland is aware of the concerns. It plans to do more environmental studies. But this has been part of Richland longtime growth plan.
Tapteal Greenway still went through the developer's plans point by point with hopes of salvaging what they can.

Rick Simon, Development Services Manager with Richland said, "Their response is perfectly appropriate and timely and so we appreciate that. We're going to evaluate these comments and kinda go to the next step."

They plan to take the process step by step as a massive new development looks to replace Richland green space.

Tapteal Greenway is petitioning the city to change design standards that could stop future developments, including this one.