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Some Philomath residents seem to blindly trust that the City Council will protect their interests if the Chapel Drive-Lowther annexation is approved.

Please don’t be naïve. Time and again, I’ve seen city leaders fail to complete prudent studies before backing development, or fail to do critical long-term planning.

For example, when the newer houses on Neabeack Hill were proposed, hydrologists and other scientists testified about the risks of erosion and wet basements. The Planning Commission voted five minutes later, ignoring the experts’ predictions. Now those warnings are coming true.

This disregard for data has been a pattern, especially with water.

Fast forward to 2016.

Experience with other Philomath sites suggests that if the annexation is approved, the Planning Commission and City Council will not necessarily consider data, testimony or voter input while planning for housing. They’ve ignored that it was voted down twice. 

It was irresponsible for the Planning Commission and City Council to send this annexation to the ballot without insisting on studies about its impact on water, traffic, schools, public safety, and more.

Philomath can and should grow, but the growth needs to be sensible. Development should be well-planned, not explosive or densely compressed into two parcels of land. It should not create a burden to current and future residents. It should be based on adequate resources, commerce, and jobs. It should enrich our lives.

Beware — once land is annexed, the voters lose all control. Anything can happen. Voting "no" is our safety net. Please vote NO on Measure 2-102.

Holly Bendixen

Philomath (Oct. 12)

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