anghara (anghara) wrote,

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Dispatches from Paradise

Those of you who have been here long enough will know I occasionally burble happily about living here and how much I love living here. But oh my, the changes that have been happening here in the few short years since we've been here - the development is out of sight. And there have been egregious "variances" happening - building within a (usually with good reason) restricted radius close to a watershed creek, building on slide-prone steep slopes, building building building - ancient old trees bulldozed, wildlife increasingly driven out... our community newspaper, a few months ago, had a letter from someone who warned against "feeding deer" because they'll mutliply, see, and then they'll become a nuisance and then people will need to come in and shoot them. The deer, for this self-important fool's information, were what I came here for. The fact that they'd wander up to my back door and peer into my office delighted me. And so long as I could help it, the deer would have whatever the deer wanted - I put out corn cobs, salt licks, all that stuff. We watched a deer family grow up one year, with momma turning up with twin fawns and then they turned into little deer before our eyes... we watched antlered bucks standing majestically in the snow not three feet away from our window... but I haven't actually seen a deer back there now for damn near a year. My response to that original letter in the newspaper was a muttered, "we should keep feeding the deer, we should stop feeding the developers" - and rdeck suggested I should write back to the newspaper with that comment and I meant to but never did and the moment passed - but the deer are going, if not gone. I'm heartsick about that.

Just how rare a sighting has become was borne in upon me this morning, driving out of Sudden Valley - when a deer suddenly bounded into the road straight in front of me. I used to watch for them, when we first moved here, and they were constantly by the side of the road then but I simply forgot about them, it's been that long since I've seen one. And it scared the bejesus out of me. And the poor lost critter whose world we stole stood there by the side of the road and looked at me out of those big liquid deer eyes and my heart cleanched within me.

We saw an ad in the real estate section of that same local rag, the latest edition. a butt-ugly modern house on "a corner lot, with lots of sunshine". This is a forest, folks, or used to be. "Lots of sunshine" means that the lot was damned well cleared before they built this monstrosity on it.

I wouldn't mind so much if these houses are being build by owners who will then move in and actually live here - but mostly they are being build on a spec basis, and then offered for sale at exorbitant prices in the hope that a buyer will show up. Habitats are being destroyed... on spec. It makes me sad. It makes me angry. SV used to be a "Resort community", with tiny lots rated for weekender homes with tiny footprints, nestled invisibly amongst the trees. When it evolved from that into a permanent settlement, someone should have rezoned the place. doubled the size of a building lot, something - instead, what we have now is 1500+ square foot homes being jammed in cheek by jowl any way they will fit, and the 100-year-old cedars and the wildlife are paying the price - and so will the rest of us, sooner or later, when the weakened supprt system of what used to be the root system of a forest is weakened sufficiently for even the trees they leave standing to be potentially lethal in any high wind. The insurance rates will probably rocket for this area in the not too distant future, and it burns me to have to pay such things because I was so openly against the circumstances that are causing this change.

Despite what the people into whose pockets the money is flowing appear to think, *growth is not a given*. But human beings can be such a blight. SOme days it seems to me that the only thing we as a race are really good at is using up and moving on.

I'd like to speak for the deer.

This dance card is full. Go build your subdivision somewhere else.

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