Regarding "Let citizens decide Riverbank's growth" (March 13, Letters): His concerns for the decrease in quality of life are well-founded.
This new plan of Riverbank officials appears to be "Grupe light." Instead of removal of the entire urban forest of walnut trees, their new plan proposes cutting down the southwest portion of trees for building houses.
In 2000, the City Council passed a growth policy identifying the area as a "community separator," noting it is a prime agricultural area and stating that growth should take place on the east side of Riverbank, where the agricultural potential is lower.
But the city updated the policy and deleted language about growing east rather than west. The council also eliminated references to the area as a "community separator."
This land proposed for houses has flooded twice in recent memory. In 1955, it flooded to what would be rooftop level. In the 1970s, the seepage enabled neighborhood kids to paddle canoes there. FEMA will not install even temporary shelters on a flood plain.
Is this new plan just the camel's nose getting in the tent for a plan similar to the Grupe plan of 2007 for a community with 7,000 to 8,000 people on this flood plain?