The recent opinion piece by M. Boyd Wilcox (Gazette-Times, Dec. 19) is perfectly on target. For the vast majority of us there are no benefits, and many costs, inherent in population growth. Locally, population growth primarily benefits land owners, developers and the real estate industry. The rest of us bear the costs of increased congestion, longer waiting times, and the disappearance of open space.

As to the benefits of “urban life,” those who find Corvallis to be dull might consider moving to more exciting locales, perhaps Los Angeles or San Francisco. They could enjoy the astronomical housing costs, stifling freeway traffic, and the never-ending hunt for a parking space. Consider the traffic in nearby Portland today, as compared to 40 years ago.

Nationally, population growth leads to a depletion of resources, along with the pathological local effects cited above. Mandating more efficient automobiles, for example, is seriously mitigated if the number of drivers, and cars on the road, continues to increase.

Perhaps it is simple greed that drives all this. How much is enough? May God bless Charlie Ross, who could have made significant sums by developing what has become Chip Ross Park and Fitton Green, which instead have become gifts to the people of Corvallis. If you too are concerned about maintaining the quality of life in our region, consider supporting Greenbelt Land Trust.

I am so grateful that I have lived most of my adult life in this delightful small city.

Bill Becker

Corvallis (Dec. 19)

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