Letters: The potential hazards of land annexation

“Downtown is a happening place. Your legacy is a good one. Do you wish to be remembered for that? Or for being part of a huge decision that will change the quality of our town forever?”
Graphic: Winters Express
Graphic: Winters Express

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This is an open letter to the mayor, the councilmembers, and the staff of the city of Winters.  I am concerned about the proposed land annexation north of town. There are many hazards going up that road, and I believe if started, it would be a mistake.   The development has already lowered the water table for the farmers in the region. How much lower will it sink when people are living there? Will the farmers have enough to grow our food? What would Winters be without farmers? Large, hurried developments like this usually are filled with people who become their own community, work out of town, and don’t become part of the fabric of the original town. Will they be willing to support bonds for schools, libraries, or other services? Speaking of schools, is the School District part of the plan? Are they in discussions with the developers? They need to be from the start if they are to have time to build enough schools for a town that will be double the current size. When do they get included? And what about us, the citizens of Winters? At what point will there be an open meeting where we can share our views? Will it be before the plan is already completed? Now, I have heard that these developers have offered all kinds of “amenities,” a new sports complex, among other things. We have heard developers offer those amenities before. But, as my friend Dorian Faye said when a previous developer was offering such, she stood up at the meeting and said, “But sir, you don’t understand, Winters IS the amenity.” Powerful words.  Remember them. Winters is the amenity. If we decide, as a community, to grow more than the General Plan calls for, then we need to find developers who have good reputations and have Winters’ interests at heart; people who work in the region and understand what a special town we are. We do not need to be in a hurry to develop; we have time on our side. It is the developer that wants to rush. If this developer goes away, maybe one that suits us better will show up down the road. The council and city staff should be proud of the wonderful work they have done in the past to make our town vibrant, prosperous, and beautiful. Downtown is a happening place. Your legacy is a good one. Do you wish to be remembered for that? Or for being part of a huge decision that will change the quality of our town forever? How do you want to be remembered? What will your legacy be? Rebecca Fridae]]>

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