Letter to the Editor: Centralia’s Growth Must Be Done in an Orderly Fashion


With the rest of my immediate community and neighborhood, we are in opposition to the development project located at 635 W. Reynolds Ave. While the signage on the project implies a very small portion is to be developed on a cleared lot on the corner, this is very misleading and the total project includes over 21 acres proposed at High Density, R-20. While I can appreciate the growth and development of Lewis County and the city of Centralia, growth must be done in a well thought out and practical manner.

As we have seen with recent crimes including bank robberies, assaults, theft, trespassing and other crimes more commonly seen in large cities, the growth of this area needs to be done in an orderly fashion.

That this project is even being considered shows that rapid development is not good development. The project sits well within the known flood area and was under several feet of water just a few months ago. We all live here. We all saw it. The property also sits on a known wetland, on an identified critical aquifer that the city uses for water, and part of the property even has a small salmon spawning area.

Development of this property will cause increased flooding to the homes around the entire more than 21 acres. My home was built 112 years ago and has not flooded. My neighbors have been in Centralia for five generations and their homes have not flooded.

The 21-plus acres at the 635 Reynolds property should never be developed as it is a known wetland area that helps each and every year with flood control of this and the areas surrounding Centralia.

Anyone who drove down Reynolds during the last flood to get around town would be cut off as the water was up to the bridge only months ago. Development of the proposed property would put the water over Reynolds as Coffee Creek hits maximum capacity every year as-is.

This would cut off fire and medical services as well.

Increased development in this flood area should never be considered as anyone can see from the Lewis County Assessor’s parcel search for 635 Reynolds Ave. The map includes overlays that clearly support no development of the property: Critical areas, the 2007 flood, wetlands, FEMA flood areas, stream buffers, shoreline environments, a critical aquifer recharge area and hydric soils all overlap this project.

I am not opposed to development, but development cannot be used to harm others. Development for the sake of a developer while destroying the surrounding community cannot be allowed.


Jeremy Ashbeck