City's 'short-sighted vision' for restaurant site cancels out environmental efforts

To the Editor:

Columbus has a very active environmental community that is committed to good stewardship of our city's resources. Volunteers and homeowners spend hundred of hours and dollars on projects such as tree planting and rain garden installation in efforts to lower stormwater runoff and prevent water pollution.

But Columbus' officials have just shown us that they do not share our goals, in spite of many well-publicized "green" initiatives in recent years.

By permitting Raising Cane's to destroy a sensitive area of Bill Moose Ravine on North High Street, an environmental impact has been created that will negate much of what Friends of the Olentangy Watershed, Friends of the Ravines, Earth Day Columbus and other groups have been trying to accomplish for years.

This large wooded lot has been stripped of multiple mature trees and the steep slopes of the ravine have been denuded of vegetation. This will greatly increase the stormwater runoff from this area, increasing pollution and flooding in Bill Moose Creek and the Olentangy River.

I cannot understand how Columbus can give so much lip service to environmental issues and yet still not understand the importance of ravines and the impact this kind of development has on water quality. Why was the community not informed of this development? I feel like we all have been blindsided by this project, which should have been subject to public comment concerning the short- and long-term environmental impact. There are many already-developed sites available in the area that would have been more suitable for this project; were they even considered?

I am very disappointed in Columbus' short-sighted vision and continued insistence on placing developers' interests above all other considerations.

Ellie Nowels