Serving the community since 1970

My View: A land sale has unintended consequences

This past week we have seen a vast change in the landscape alongside Central Valley Highway between Lerdo and Central Avenue, with the removal of the green belt of trees and grass planted a number of years ago by the city. That area was originally the Santa Fe Railroad yard, where the depot formerly stood, as well as tracks for loading and unloading equipment and produce, railroad maintenance equipment and a railway bunkhouse. The rails uplifted this last week were manufactured in 1911.

When the city purchased this property from the railroad for future development, the decision was applauded as a way to control the development of the area. The planting of the green belt alongside Highway 43 was a great improvement on the attractiveness of the major artery through Shafter, that somewhat shielded the dust, sound and nuisance of passing trains, and a credit to the City Council.

The city recently sold this property to be repurposed as a car wash. However, the council failed to reserve an easement for the protection of this beautiful strip along the city’s main throughfare. It is too late to correct such an oversight, as the trees are gone. I can only hope in the future that our city’s leaders will consider their actions in light of the aesthetic benefit or loss to the community.

Stan Wilson is a local farmer and is owner of The Shafter Press and Wasco Tribune.


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