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Neighbors seek to stop Central Point road plan

CENTRAL POINT ' A city proposal to make Snowy Butte Way a through street has some residents alarmed.

Nearly two dozen residents of the dead-end road off of Beall Lane packed City Council chambers in a meeting last week, and they had a common theme: They like the quiet of their rural street.

The city won't make a decision about the street until next month, but it is considering removing a construction barrier placed at the end of the road in the 1980s, connecting it to Glenn Way.

City plannerMatt Samitore said the barrier was geared at preserving a rural feel that has all but disappeared in the area.

Over 20-plus years, subdivisions have sprung up around Snowy Butte's 1- to 3-acre lots, causing residents' tax rates to jump.

— More than half (of property owners) want it improved, Samitore said. The opposition comes from the residents on the improved half of Snowy Butte who don't want the added traffic that would come with removing the barrier.

Council members were presented last week with information from both sides of the fence ' and barrier.

On one hand, homeowners such as Stan and Gwen Snook, who purchased their lot in 1955, would like to see improvements so they can develop their property.

You don't like to step on toes and not everybody is going to like it, but then again we don't like all the subdivisions around us yet we have to do something to afford the tax rates getting so high, said Gwen Snook.

Homeowners James and Reba Haas, who bought their home on Snowy Butte Way four years ago, see things from a different vantage point ' behind the barrier that sits on the edge of their property.

When we bought this house, the Realtor told us it wasn't going to be opened up. It's like buying something and finding out it wasn't what you were told it would be, said James Haas.

A handful of neighbors would lose part of their property under the extension plan.

Art Decker, who purchased his home in 1973, lives across the barrier from the Haases. If the city decides on a proposal to widen the street from 20 feet to 50 feet, one option it is considering, he would lose 20 feet of frontage from his 100- by 150-square-foot lot.

I don't object to them taking part of my property but when they get up to my carport and take half my front lawn, then that's too much. If they decide to widen the (20-foot) street to 50 foot, that's exactly what will happen, said Decker.

I'll work with the neighbors and the city to come up with an alternative to me losing my front yard, Decker added. I'm willing to compromise but I just don't want to give that much of my property up.

Samitore said city planning staff would review alternatives, discuss them with homeowners and return their finding to the council in coming weeks.

Buffy Pollock is a free-lance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at buffypollock@juno.com.