The Chronicle: “Our Views: NIMBYs Misguided in Opposition to Centralia Station”

» Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in News | Comments Off on The Chronicle: “Our Views: NIMBYs Misguided in Opposition to Centralia Station”

Our Views: NIMBYs Misguided in Opposition to Centralia Station
The Chronicle
March 21, 2013

With the recent purchase of about a dozen properties, the Port of Centralia announced it has nearly finished with acquisition for the planned Centralia Station, a multi-use development on 43 acres just south of Mellen Street and east of Interstate 5.

The development aims to attract major retailers and restaurants, and expand both Centralia College and Providence Centralia Hospital facilities.

At least one resident in the area of the development is miffed at the progress.

The person called the backers of Centralia Station “greedy” and claimed it was “destroying my once nice neighborhood.”

NIMBYs (Not in My Back Yard) often have valid reasons to oppose various projects that infringe on their homes.

However, the neighborhood homeowners in question at the south end of Long Road should have long ago realized they resided in a high-growth area. They live next to Interstate 5, the major transportation corridor on the West Coast, just blocks away from a main interchange that flows into the downtown of the largest city of Lewis County and its only college.

It is inevitable that development will occur at that location.

The project, we believe, is overwhelmingly positive for the area. During construction, hundreds of jobs will be created. Once complete, Centralia Station could employ upwards of 350 people.

Additional benefits from the project include building 7 acres of soccer fields (that will soak up excess floodwater during the winter months) and trails that connect to the Fort Borst Park sports complex.

For those concerned, there is plenty of time and opportunity to weigh in on the project. Any major work will have to wait until the completion of the Mellen Street interchange project, which likely won’t be finished until 2015.

In addition, the Port of Centralia said it will host an open house for the public to comment and give input on the type of facilities that eventually are built at Centralia Station. Kyle Heaton, the executive director of the Port of Centralia, said he expects to have meetings with the public before June. At that point, flood and traffic experts will be finished with their studies on the impact of the project, giving those affected real numbers and information on how the area will change.

In the case of Centralia Station, we do hold empathy for those living in a neighborhood that is about to undergo a major transition.

However, living in a county that chronically has the second- or third-highest rate of unemployment out of the 39 counties in this state, the need for jobs and tax revenue that comes from such a development overrides those opposed to the project.