EUGENE, Ore. — The Beverly property, which contains the Amazon Creek headwaters, has been a topic of discussion for more than a decade, and on Wednesday the Eugene City Council continued talks of purchasing the nearly 25 acres of land.
The possibility of putting housing on the land has become real, and many community members say they don’t want it developed. They say if it is developed, the damage to the area’s sensitive ecosystem will be irreversible.
At Wednesday’s work session, Councilor Betty Taylor motioned to direct the city manager to purchase the property in order to protect the water supply, air quality, and natural habitat for the wildlife there, but the council was split down the middle, with four voting in favor and four voting to table the motion.
Ultimately, Mayor Kitty Piercy decided to table it.
Some councilors argued the property would cost the city too much.
“For the city to buy this right now would be absolutely financially reckless,” said Councilor Mike Clark, Ward 5.
The motion that did end up passing allows the council to move forward with private, outside buyers who could help them take on the costs of the property.
Just before the meeting, representatives from the Southeast Neighbors Board gave the mayor a petition, with more than 1,700 people asking the council to buy the land. Afterward, the group’s president said she was pleased with how seriously the council is taking their concerns.