Do you live on and/or commute via Middle Waitsburg Road, Lower Waitsburg Road, Blue Mountain Drive, Rainier Drive, Wellington, Melrose, Wilbur, North Clinton or East Sumach?

If you do, I encourage you to go to the city of Walla Walla/Development Services website and click on its “Public Notice” link; then click on “Harvey Ranch Estates Preliminary Plat.” Then review the “Notice of Application;” the “SEPA Checklist;” the “Route to Schools” chart and I recommend reading the first (38) pages of the “Traffic Impact Analysis.”

The application was completed and submitted by the developer.

As you study the Harvey Ranch Estates development application you’ll learn:

The developer is “Richland 132 LLC” (with a local address).

If you research “Richland 132 LLC” online, you’ll discover it has two addresses, one in Walla Walla related to its Washington state registration and one in Redmond, Ore.

Further research will show “Richland 132 LLC” is a subsidiary (or similar) of Hayden-Homes.

The developer is proposing to build 238 homes at U.S. Highway12 & Lower Waitsburg Road.

The developer’s Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) suggests “the proposed Harvey Ranch Estates project is estimated to generate 2,638 weekday trips, including 192 trips during the AM peak hour, 256 trips during the PM peak hour based on a nominal 250-lot subdivision”.

The developer’s TIA basically makes no mention of the proposed Hwy 12 overpass linking North Clinton with Lower Waitsburg Road and Middle Waitsburg Road.

The developer’s TIA notes preexisting traffic issues at Hwy 12 & Wilbur and at Wilbur & Melrose and Wellington & Melrose.

The Wellington & Melrose intersection has a preexisting Red Flag rating due to a negative LOS (level of service) rating.

In at least (3) separate locations in the TIA you’ll find this phrase or one similar: “Instead, the City and applicant should negotiate mitigation at an alternative location to address impacts at the Wilbur Avenue / US Highway 12 intersection.”

Please join me in writing public comment letters and request Development Services, in its official summary to the City Council, highlight the mandatory need for a Highway 12 overpass at North Clinton/Lower Waitsburg Road, and, as a condition of Richland 132 LLC/Hayden-Homes’ application being permitted, the overpass must be approved first and Hayden-Homes must participate in its cost.

Deadline for receipt of (written) public comments is before 5 p.m. on Nov. 30.

R.L. McFarland

Walla Walla