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Just say welcome back

Social media is great, but it is also great at spreading misinformation. One example: the online reaction to our story about the new house next to Lithia Park.

Here are the facts:

It’s not “in the middle of Lithia Park.” It’s on private property across the street from the bottom end of Lithia Park, just as there are private residences across from the upper park.

The property is privately owned, purchased by Bryan DeBoer and his wife, Stephanie.

The lot is not zoned commercial. It is and alway has been zoned residential. In 2010, the city considered a proposal to rezone the property to build a mix of shops and offices. The city required the applicant to create parking elsewhere in town to offset the demand generated by a commercial development. That never happened, and the zoning remained residential.

No special permission was necessary to build a residence on a residential lot, beyond some site-specific issues such as tree removal and a retaining wall.

The house is not enormous by any measure. At 2,926 square feet, it’s far smaller than many higher-end homes in the valley.

Some have questioned why the DeBoers would want to live in such a busy spot. That’s their business. They wanted to return to Ashland, where Bryan lived until he was 6, and that is where they chose to live. The proper response from a community that considers itself a place of acceptance and inclusion should be to say, as we do: “Welcome back.”