It’s Complicated

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Posting on behalf of Kim Rosenberg
It’s Complicated
The reason I never name people in the posts I’ve been writing is because it’s really not about the who but about the how and the why.
I spoke at length with the builder yesterday at the lot after I’d posted the Case of the Missing Marsh the night before. I don’t think he’s evil and I never have. He’s doing what the rules say he can.
We had a good talk and I learned something about the process and his plan that made me hopeful. The thing I was most worried about–a lot full of big ocean view houses–isn’t happening. There’s room for things to change. I wish I would’ve talked to the builder earlier after DSL approved the application and before the bulldozing started.
I’m still mad but I’m mad about something that can never be changed–a place I loved died and the creatures who lived there have been displaced all because the rules and the people that should’ve protected The Marsh didn’t. DSL decided that .34 acres of wetland wasn’t worth saving nor were the birds and animals living there. The City decided not to enforce the Ordinances about tree removal or replacement on Open Space Land.
That’s not about the developer or the builder or the guys excavating at all. That’s about a piece of land that was supposed to be protected and then it wasn’t. None of the rules that applied were followed when it was logged which begs the question–why? There is no answer to this because there are no records.
I’m mad at myself about this, too. I took it on faith that the land was what it looked like to all of us neighbors–a sanctuary in the heart of town. But I didn’t look into it. I didn’t check the zoning or its history back when I might have been able to do something.
The varied thrush that used to nest back there lost its home, the elk lost their winter lunch counter, all the little ground squirrels that used to scamper over to wrestle some sunflower seeds from my feeders were probably buried. I haven’t seen the deer that used to come peeking out from the brush at the back of the lot. The bobcat is gone and I miss the big cedar tree at the corner on 3rd and how it felt to walk to the Apple past all that forest in the summer with the sun slanting through the trees.
The builder said to me that it’s never coming back and that change is hard. He wasn’t being unkind. And of course, he’s right. I’m old enough to know that but still, it breaks my heart.
What’s driven me throughout all the digging I’ve done hasn’t been personal and that’s why I never use names. It’s about the discrepancies I find between the way things actually work and the way they’re supposed to work, the lack of transparency in the government and agencies that make a person trying to understand feel gaslit or like Alice in Not So Wonderfuland.
I’ll keep showing up for the hearings and the meetings because I want to be part of solutions. There are solutions but sometimes they’re little ones like maybe I build my own bird sanctuary in my yard. The good news is my backyard is as big as my imagination and I’ve got room to grow out there and patience to wait. And I’ll keep talking to folks who have different ideas and perspectives because if we don’t keep talking to each other, then what?
Kim Rosenberg