Herdal Drive long recognized as access

Reader Input
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I am a native-born resident of Auburn, having lived here since 1960. My family has lived in Auburn for generations before me. Over the decades property, which used to consist of hundreds of acres, has been handed down to the family and now totals 20 acres. Decades ago, we approached the city with requests to divide our property to allow my sisters to build homes on the family homestead. The city denied our request, declaring our property to be in an “urban reserve.” Now the Baltimore Ravine project is moving forward. We all knew this area would develop. Herdal Drive has been the planned access point into this area since the 1960s. Now, residents adjacent to Herdal Drive are opposing the use of this existing easement as an entry point into the Baltimore Ravine, despite it being granted prior to the development of their neighborhoods. They have enjoyed the open space constituting the easement for years. These residents, in opposition to noise and traffic, have implored the Auburn City Council to look into Pacific Street as an alternate access point into the Baltimore Ravine Development. This “alternate” option includes the condemning and taking of nearly six acres of our family heritage through eminent domain, and coincidentally involves the very site my sister tried to develop years earlier. Further, we are not the only parcels affected. The railroad, as well as Auburn Recreation District, would be affected by the Pacific Street proposal. How can the residents off Herdal Drive justify to themselves, or others, that taking one-third of a neighbor’s heritage family property is better than dealing with increased traffic on an easement that existed decades before they moved next to it? Michael Sipe, Auburn