By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
A compromise between Ledbetter Properties and the CRBI might be on the horizon for the embattled Burwell Creek Development.
Recent discussions with the local environmental nonprofit have convinced Citi Shopping Center developers to preserve the natural wetlands in their future plans for the site that sits just on the other side of Ridgeferry Park. Since 2005, the two groups have been interlocked in a fierce debate over the 54-acre Burwell Creek wetland and floodplain forest, which a new shopping center had the potential to destroy.
“The wetlands prevent floods. They store water when the rains come. They help keep pollution out of our river. So, these wetlands are very important for us and they serve a lot of functions,” says Joe Cook, Executive Director of the CRBI. “ That property is owned by the city and it provides a natural corridor between Ridgeferry Park, which is our premier city park, and Jackson Hill, which is also city property with historical significance.
“So, we would like to see a portion of that property slated for development preserved in its natural state.”
Despite a 2014 extension between the city and developers on the property in November, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended its permit originally issued to the project. The CRBI expects Ledbetter Properties to submit a new site plan for the area before years end---one which they hope conserves the 4-acre wetland.