News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Development threatens quality of life

The Three Wind development is right next to a significant number of The Pines homes, and four of the high-density apartment buildings abut directly behind these homes, with a so-called buffer of two-inch caliper trees which will take many years to grow into an actual buffer.

In addition, the parking allotted for the eight-unit, 12-unit, and three 10-unit apartment buildings is wholly insufficient. One stall per unit is not sufficient. Where are all the extra cars going to park? In the open space area? In the businesses parking lots? Having this many new residents of these apartments will increase noise, car traffic and, unless these buildings are one-story, they will look directly into our homes and yards and forfeit the privacy we have enjoyed for many


Realizing the need for housing in our town, does it have to be at the expense of the quality of living we at The Pines presently enjoy? The Pines is for 55-and-older residents and many enjoy sitting on their decks in the morning, drinking coffee and listening to the birds.

At night, a favorite pastime is to enjoy a beverage while gazing at the star-and-planet-filled sky.

It seems that the City has decided to ignore The Pines completely and jam thousands of feet of commercial businesses, with their generators and pumps and garbage collection, and high-density housing with inadequate parking right down our throats — development that includes a fast-food establishment with drive-through service and a Dollar General that will be open until 10 p.m.

The increase in noise, distracting lighting, and traffic is going to be astronomical.

Sisters received an award from WHO as an official age-friendly city. Sisters is supposed to value its seniors and be concerned with their well-being and quality of life. Being subjected to years of noisy, dusty construction, with the result being permanent noise and traffic, is marginalizing seniors and not considering their quality of life.

And the “traffic study” that was done recommends NO traffic calming features and says that traffic will be distributed equally to McKinney Butte and Hood Avenue, streets that they say can accommodate the increased traffic with no problem.

Well, I bet they didn’t do the study during peak school hours, because traffic currently during this time is already bumper-to-bumper. Add this to the exploding tourist traffic at certain times of the year, and the result will be a huge traffic nightmare.

For the residents of The Pines who currently enjoy walking to Ray’s, their doctor, PT or gym there is no crosswalk to cross busy McKinney Butte unless they walk an extremely long way to find a crosswalk. To go across McKinney Butte now is an accident waiting to happen. The increased traffic from this large Three Wind development will create an impossible situation. Traffic calming is essential.

The Three Wind burden of proof statement says that the sections on Street Tree Maintenance, Urban Forestry, Activities Prohibited, and many others are purely advisory. Does that mean they intend to ignore these City recommendations which are included there to enhance the livability of Sisters and promote public health and safety?

Why the City of Sisters is intent on eliminating our small-town livability and become just another overcrowded, mediocre town with fast-food establishments and low-quality businesses is questionable. Why throw away the unique characteristics that define our town and create another junky, low-quality town?


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