Planning A City Without Trees

The destruction of an irreplaceable hilltop environment at the end of Capital Drive in Southeast Eugene is well under way. Large dump trucks now rumble up and down undersized Spring Boulevard, threatening any cars and pedestrians in their way. Loggers have taken out all the trees on the hilltop, many large and stately, for 35 new homes. There appears to have been no consideration for leaving at least a few big trees to maintain the character and appearance of the project. The landowner defied the neighbors in 2017 and got the buy-in of the Eugene Planning Department, despite multiple fire and safety concerns.

Two years of neighbor testimony against paving over this beautiful forested area next to Hendricks Park went nowhere. This despite the South Hills Study from 1974 stating “The south hills (of Eugene) constitute a unique and irreplaceable community asset… (that) function as a strong visual boundary or edge for the city.” This parcel, in my opinion, called out to become park land.

Now from my house I get to watch history and nature taken down the hill in pieces. Many neighbors warned in 2017 that there was no way to do this project without endangering all drivers in the neighborhood. The owner of the property and the city apparently did not care. Now it is happening. In a world where Nature is under constant assault, this whole Capital PUD project, both morally and logistically, should never have been contemplated. The purpose of this letter is to warn other Eugene neighborhoods that the city will apparently not stand in the way as some of its best natural areas are eroded. 

Andrew McIvor