Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Fooling: Why Salem must not develop the Battle Creek Golf Course

I don't golf. I think all golf courses should be converted to food gardens immediately if not sooner, and that it should be illegal to use any chemicals to grow grass anywhere (the need for petrochemical fertilizers being nature's way of telling you you're trying to grow something in the wrong place). So this isn't about my desire to preserve golfing.

But a golf course is still better than suburban sprawl. And the City of Salem knows it. Here's an excerpt from a five-page letter to "City of Salem Property Owners" concerning "Flood Hazards in the City of Salem" that the City sent me today:

"In Salem, unusually warm weather mixed with heavy rains that melt the snow in the higher elevations and flood local streams, referred to as a "Pineapple Express," contribute substantially to flooding, and ongoing development within the City continues to displace natural areas that have historically functioned as flood storage."

Well, there it is then. If Salem presses ahead with allowing development of the Battle Creek Golf Course, they will have put all of us on the hook to rescue flooding victims who build on that land (and their victims, since the development will cause other properties to flood as well).

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