I was contacted a while back by a woman who is interested in keeping a portion of West Richland and Richland undeveloped. A portion of the land is currently zoned RR-5, which means there can be one house every five acres.
She said she felt that many like-minded conservationists viewed Realtors as the ‘them’ in the battle over land. From reading my blog and web site, she thought I might be a good person to straddle the middle ground. Not be either an ‘us’ or a ‘them’, but just a person interested in keeping our lands open for everyone to enjoy, and uniting with others who feel the same way.
I am not an outdoorsy kind of person. I don’t hike, or camp, or watch birds. I don’t boat (although I wish I did) or water-ski or wakeboard. My free time is spent reading and writing. The closest communing with nature I do is leaving a spot or two free of OFF! so that some mosquito, somewhere, gets a free meal. But, because I believe that God made a FANTASTIC planet, with wonderful vistas and room for all kinds of wildlife, I do appreciate the joys that open spaces provide.
On the other hand, I don’t like anyone telling anyone else what they can do when it comes to property. Outside of health risks or damage to people or property, anyone should be able to do pretty much what they want. America is about owning land. It’s about being free to do what YOU want on that land, and not what the government or any governmental agency tells you to do.
In the early years of WWII, the government came to the towns of White Bluffs and Hanford and said, “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?” Everyone had to leave for a Top Secret WWII-related mission. I’ll write more about that on another post sometime. But what matters for this post is that someone told someone else what they could do with their land. The land they owned. I simply hate that.
The Tri-City Herald ran this story a week ago but I had already come to a conclusion a couple days before. I will not side with any organization that wants to restrict land use. If the different groups come up with the money to buy the land and preserve it, that’s awesome. That’s their right to do…if you own land, YOU get to decide what you want to do with it. But as it stands now, if someone wanted to sell their 5-acre parcel (again, within their rights as a landowner), someone else could buy it and build their dream home on it, and that’s awesome, too.
I don’t think it’s an us vs. them question. I think it’s about rights and freedom.