Letter: Why no news about the Olsen Ranch project?
To the editor,
–Our community is hearing news about the Beechwood Specific Plan that could add more than 900 new homes in the area bordered by Meadowlark, Beechwood and Creston Road. I’m wondering why we are not hearing more about the proposed Olsen Ranch planned community which will be located just East of and to the North of the Beechwood community.
The Olsen Ranch plan, when combined with the Beechwood plan, would result in nearly 1,500 new homes, all of which will be located on the Southeast side of Paso. Many residents have expressed concerns about traffic, water and the other environmental issues at various public forums. While these concerns have centered around the Beechwood planned community, I’m wondering how amplified those concerns would be if our community understood that the Olsen plan must be considered concurrently with the Beechwood plan. We aren’t talking about 900+ new homes – we’re talking about nearly 1,500 between the two projects.
City leadership tells us that environmental studies are being conducted, but who, if anyone, is conducting an economic impact study? How can anyone think that building 1,500 new homes in a community the size of ours, in a relatively short period of time, is a good idea? The impact to existing home values is only one of many questions that spring to mind. Our entire city will be economically affected in many ways by these developments. Consider the senior citizens who may be on a trajectory to selling their existing homes in the next five years. With the addition of all these new houses, will these seniors still see the anticipated return on their investment that they may be banking on for the future economic well being?
We all need to urge our community leaders to consider the downstream consequences of these planned additions to Paso especially as they relate to local property values. While it is clear that Paso needs additional housing, once again I’ll ask, who can think it’s a good idea to grow Paso so quickly and all in one concentrated are? I hope someone at City Hall is prepared to share the results of an economic study with Paso residents sometime soon.