Keep Our Historic Road Safe From Developers
Keep Our Historic Road Safe From Developers
Why this petition matters
Developers with plans for a major development called Crestview Green have descended upon Benjamin Rd. in Newberg within sight of our bucolic farmhouse brewery and aim to close it off completely to 99W, routing traffic to our farm-based brewery and historic rural neighborhood through a modern subdivision with stark modern buildings and commercial storefronts. The project has unfolded with zero time for public comment from business owners in the area and will negatively impact our historic farm and farmhouse brewery. The development threatens not only the bucolic farm atmosphere but sensitive wildlife habitats along Springbrook Creek.
As we will welcome Crestview Green's new residents to the area with open arms, and as we hope they will become interested in our family-owned business and farm-grown hazelnuts and in other neighboring enterprises such as the Allison Inn and Rex Hill/A to Z Wineworks, we must also raise serious concerns about the plans, which have not allowed for sufficient review.
Sign this petition to extend the public comment period, signal your clear opposition to closing Benjamin Rd. at Highway 99W (while encouraging certain sensible changes) and tell us why you feel it's important to support Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery and Springbrook Farm, one of Yamhill County's most historic properties. We will also add you to our mailing list if you are not already on it, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
BETTER YET, send a respectful note to City Planner Doug.Rux@newbergoregon.gov in support of keeping Benjamin Rd. open at 99W
The following describes the hardships the plans will create as proposed, and our ideas for potential solutions:
Below: our detailed reasoning.
HARDSHIP: The proposed closure of Benjamin Rd. will be a hardship for neighbors and our business. As proposed, visitors will have an extra 8/10ths of a mile in order to arrive via large intersections traversing modern residential and retail developments, and may endure months or years of heavy construction.
- Make Benjamin Rd. at 99W a right- and left-turn-in only off of 99W. Eliminate left turns out of Benjamin to 99W.
- Benjamin Road, which is a county road and not in the city of Newberg, would now become a one-way section at 99W, and will be safer, retaining some sense of its peaceful aura and views. Simultaneously, lower the speed limit to 25 (or even 15mph), and add speed bumps and signage to remind drivers they are in a rural area home to neighbors, pets, livestock, and wild animals. Jory Road, which is classified as a minor collector street, should not be expected to handle the regular traffic of an established county route.
- make the proposed Jory Street yield to Benjamin’s historically established local traffic via stop sign or other posted rule. In the event there are cars backing up, it is safer for them to do so on the proposed collector Jory Street rather than on 99W or Benjamin Road.
- While the existing intersection is currently not ideal at Benjamin Road, nor is it statistically much more dangerous. Let us take this opportunity to make it safer as a right in/left in only, and more secluded from the coming changes.
-The shaded and bucolic nature of Benjamin Road as it now is worth saving and should be altered responsibly. After all, the route is named for local pioneer Benjamin Heater (1821-1914). Springbrook Farm was established on land that had been Heater’s, and the area of our farm closest to the proposed development once belonged to Neuburg, Germany native Sebastian Brutscher (1826-1922), who named the town Newberg and became its first postmaster and school superintendent. He even had a sawmill on Springbrook Creek. Direct descendants of both Heater and Brutscher have paid our farm brewery many happy visits. The bucolic arrival to our area is something we and our customers value deeply.
- the developers should be required to use properly shaded and environmentally sensitive lighting (if any more is necessary at all) that can be proven will have no negative impact on human neighbors, or on wildlife of the Springbrook creek area including bald eagles, red tail hawks, quail, doves, great blue herons, horned owls, red wing blackbirds, Pacific salamanders, hummingbirds, beavers, and migratory species such as geese and Western swallowtail butterflies. An unnecessary and brightly-lit new intersection on Benjamin Road would negatively impact these species, which we have the responsibility to safeguard and can do so without too much effort.
CONTEXT & SUMMARY:
Springbrook Farm gained its four historic, well-preserved Craftsman buildings in 1912, and became home to my family in 1967. It was wonderful to grow up on this peaceful landmark property, which has been slowly but surely surrounded by development. Wolves & People, founded in 2014 and opened in 2016, has been ranked as both the best brewery in Oregon in 2018 (Outside Magazine) and as the 18th best small brewery in the world in 2021 (Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine), among other accolades. It is the first ever farm-based brewery in Yamhill County and among the first in the state and nation. We are proud of our hyperlocal approach and of our mission to bring back barley farming and malting to Newberg and Yamhill County. The brewery attracts a respectful clientele from Newberg and neighboring areas, the city of Portland, and across the US and from abroad, and has donated to several local charities including our neighboring Providence Hospital.
The vast majority of our guests arrive via the leafy, secluded-feeling Benjamin Rd., which I am old enough to fondly remember as Route 4. Let’s keep it as beautiful and serene as we can while making our new neighbors welcome and well-accommodated.
Founder, Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery
Springbrook Farm, Newberg, OR
ADDITIONAL INFO: Here is the city’s extensive file.