Kings County residents are unhappy with another proposed high speed rail route. A west alignment is now under consideration that could replace the east alignment. So far, nothing has been decided, but effected land owners say neither route is acceptable.
The lush farmland that makes up much of Kings County produces fine, ripe fruit. The Cody's sell it by the road under a rustic stand. But the family business would be wiped out by the High Speed Rail Authority's proposed west alignment through Kings County.
"Deep frustration, probably some anger at their lack of common sense," Joyce Cody said.
The HSRA recently released a revised Environmental Impact Report, apparently taking into consideration concerns from Kings County residents. But the new plan has only fueled more irritation. Cody's Fruit Stand sits on just one of hundreds of parcels of land that would be split by the west alignment.
"How can they do an E.I.R. when they haven't even talked to the people it's effecting and their lives and homes and businesses," said Cody.
Carol Walters also owns property along the proposed west alignment. She lives on seven acres and grows walnuts. She risks losing her only access to the property as well at the irrigation system.
"This is our investment for our life and it's a litlle bit of heaven. We thoroughly enjoy living here but all of the neighborhood will be involved with the rumble and vibrations of the high speed rail," said Walters.
She worries how the HSRA will compensate for what's lost, both on the ground and underneath. Kings County land owners have been outspoken and unified. They want the bullet train far away from their land, in order to maintain the quiet quality of life they enjoy.
"We can't accept this, whether it's on the east or west side," said Frank Oliveira, who owns land on the east alignment.
The HSRA will be accepting comments for the next 60 days. A series of workshops and hearings will be held in August.
Four (4) informational workshops will be held to inform the public of the contents of the
Monday, August 13, 2012, 4-7 p.m.
Rosedale Middle School, Multipurpose
12463 Rosedale Highway
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 4-7 p.m.
16694 Wasco Avenue
Wasco, CA 93280
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 4-7 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Hall
1000 Van Dorsten Avenue
Corcoran, CA 93212
Thursday, August 16, 2012, 4-7 p.m.
The Grand 1401, Ballroom
1401 Fulton Street
Fresno, CA 93721
Three (3) public hearings will be offered to solicit comments:
Monday, August 27, 2012, 3-8 p.m.
Beale Memorial Library
701 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 3-8 p.m.
Hanford Fraternal Hall
1015 N. 10th Avenue
Hanford, CA 93230
Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 3-8 p.m.
Fresno Convention Center, Exhibit Hall III
848 M Street
Fresno, CA 93721