The Curry Coastal Pilot

Editor's note: The following editorial, which appeared on Oct. 10, 2002, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Curry Coastal Pilot today. The latest story about this issue was published in the Nov. 4, 2009, issue.

Questions about Borax project

The possible annexation and development of Borax's 553 acres north of Brookings has solicited many responses, with some people denouncing the project outright and others calling for more investigation.

Some letter writers have accused the city of moving to quickly, perhaps trying to do an end-run around the public process. A few have accused the city of "rolling over" for Borax.

Are these dissenters people who simply don't want things to change? Or do they have legitimate concerns? Perhaps its both.

The Pilot has not yet taken a position on this issue. But we are following it closely, and paying attention to the public's concern and perceptions.

Some believe that annexation of the Borax property, while one of many steps in the process, is the deciding factor. That once it's done, there's no turning back.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Annexation of the Borax property is not an automatic endorsement of the company's project. There is no cost to the city or commitment on its part.

Borax will still be required to submit a detailed master plan to the planning commission and the city council, both of which could reject it.

Are there unanswered questions about the project? Yes. But such is the case with nearly every proposed development up until the first dirt is dug.

City officials have acknowledged that, when considering the master plan, they will be wrestling with serious issues such as street widths, public facilities and traffic flow.

And Borax will have to contend with the Oregon Department of Transportation in providing access to the development from Highway 101. Should a traffic light be installed? An onramp?

There are many places along the way where this project could fail. It is imperative that citizens continue to ask questions of their elected officials and, more importantly, attend and speak up at public meetings.

Residents will get that opportunity Monday night when the City Council considers the Planning Commission's recommendation to approve Borax's annexation request.

Make sure your voice is heard.