A Highly Flawed Plan

Stop the Seavey Loop Industrial Zone

In an urban growth boundary expansion, the city of Springfield is studying location of a 362-acre industrial zone on Seavey Loop. This plan threatens farms, businesses, residences, property values, species, public recreation, sustainable development and a way of life at the gateway to Mount Pisgah.

Local residents have launched a website NoIndustrialPisgah.org to campaign against this destructive and expensive plan. I urge Eugene Weekly readers to immediately tell Springfield City Council (mayor@springfield-or.gov) and Lane County commissioners (Faye.Stewart@co.lane.or.us) to stop the Seavey Loop Industrial Zone because it is:

Not compatible with agriculture. 

• The zone would degrade local food security by removing farmland. It would generate noise, light, air, water and soil pollution, with additional risk during construction and floods. It would be disastrous for horse farm and cattle operations. Emissions and reduction of habitat could also harm bees and other pollinators, making farming difficult.

• The stormwater would drain into the Oxley Slough, polluting the water source for many farms.

• The concerns regarding air, water and soil pollution are real. One nearby company planning to expand was recently fined $147,788 by the Environmental Protection Agency for excessive emissions of the toxic substance xylene in violation of the Clean Air Act.

• The zone would spoil Seavey Loop as a location for U-pick and on-farm sales. Customers will not buy farm-fresh food across the street from industry.

Not compatible with residences. The area has more than 600 homes. Many would be severely affected by noise and light pollution. Any groundwater pollution would be disastrous since most of the homes are on wells.

Not compatible with the park. Seavey Loop is the sole urban gateway to Mount Pisgah. The zone would deface this gateway by extending 30th Avenue, rezoning farmland for industry along one side of Seavey Loop Road, and placing a large wastewater station at the corner with Franklin. It would also disrupt land use on the remaining farms.

Harmful to species and ecosystems. The runoff will impact the Oxley Slough and Coast Fork Willamette River, which are essential salmonid habitats. Millions are being spent at the Willamette Confluence and Turtle Flats to restore habitat. Critical species confirmed at the Oxley Slough in the past 15 months include the Western painted turtle and the Western pond turtle. Their ecosystem will be inundated.

Not economical or feasible. 

• The city’s own analysis says the area has poor public safety (worst access for police), poor fire and life safety (cannot be served at the urban level even with a new fire station), questionable infrastructure (wastewater, transportation and stormwater services “may be feasible”) and flood plain issues.

• The zone would cost over $76 million not including police or fire services or works at I-5 (water facilities — $21.5 million, extension of 30th Avenue — $8 million, reconfiguration of Seavey Loop — $1 million, Hwy. 58 intersection — $1.5 million, internal roads and water — $34.5 million, etc.).

Not compatible with safe transport. Pedestrian and bicycle connections to Mount Pisgah will enable safe commutes and carbon-free recreation for thousands. Millions have been invested to expand the Ridgeline Trail System to LCC. The industrial zone would impede the critical final connections linking to the park.

The worst possible location. Seavey Loop is the worst location for industrial development in terms of the economic, social and environmental consequences. It has dozens of farms large and small that supply local markets, hundreds of residences and a fragile ecosystem, and it is the entrance to Lane County’s largest park.

Please exercise your democratic rights today. Public comment is 24/7, 365 days a year. The above reasons are considered just cause under Oregon law, and your voice will make a difference. Thank you. — Charles Stewart