Back in June, I voiced my disappointment — no, anger — over the clearing of a piece of land in downtown Wickenburg. I titled it “Progress: At What Cost?” If you live in Wickenburg and care about the town half as much as I do, please read it. I think it might echo some of your own personal sentiments about the town and the direction things appear to be moving in.
Evidently, the owners of the land that once housed the Big Corral aren’t the only ones in Wickenburg interested in cashing in on their land holdings. Earlier this month, a 7+ acre lot on West Wickenburg Way was similarly cleared of all vegetation, although the dying trees and brush were left behind as hints of what had once been on the land.
This property, which is bordered by a church on the east, a bank and apartment complex on the west, and a residential street on the north, is truly an eyesore in the community. Decorated with a big For Sale sign and numerous politician signs, the dusty ground is marked with tire tracks among the piles of debris. There was a dumpster there for a few days, but it has since disappeared.
I feel bad for the people who live in the homes that border that land. For years, they looked out on an empty lot filled with natural desert vegetation. It may not have been the most beautiful view, but at least it was pleasant. Now they’ve lost their view and their privacy — anyone driving by on West Wickenburg way has a clear view of their homes and Windows. And I’m sure they must appreciate the additional dust that blows in from the vacant lot, to cover their window sills, table tops, and furniture.
Can someone tell me why it’s necessary to clear a piece of land of all vegetation before you try to sell it? Why these property owners care so little about the scars they place on Wickenburg in the process of selling off their land? Why the town doesn’t prevent things like this from happening?
You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if this land sold quickly and the new owners built something on it. But the land just sits for months on end, sending its dust with the wind. How long with this piece of land sit vacant? And will the owners sell it to a big box store like Wal-Mart, killing the town’s charm and character — as well as the small businesses struggling to survive in our economy — forever?
I wonder how those homeowners would feel, looking out their windows at a Wal-Mart loading dock…