Buyer's Remorse: Caught in Donut Hole Battle

PASCO -- KEPR continues covering possible annexation in the Franklin County "Donut Hole."

Thousands of residents have voiced their concern about what could happen to their property or quality of life if they become part of the city limits.

So Action News set out to find out if there's really so much cause for concern. We talked with one man who's already been through the annexation process.

Steven Aldrich and his wife Crystal loved the seclusion of their property off of Rd. 68 and Chapel Hill.

"It was our little corner, you know? And we got a very big surprise seven days after we closed, when they came in an asked for our easement."

In 2003, developers and the city needed his easement to begin paving the way for hundreds of apartments and homes to go in right across his street.

Steve refused to sign over his easement. But the project moved forward without him.

It meant his power supply and phone were buried under new streets and sidewalks. It also means Steve's plans are now hinged on what happens with Pasco's latest annexation efforts in the "Donut Hole."

He says his entire lifestyle is being gobbled up from every side.

"It's developed completely. I will probably have to leave."

So Action News asked the city about resident's concerns in the donut hole that similar growth and density will come with annexation.

"You can't deny a logical zone change for development if it meets all the legal requirements," says Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield.

"The city, nor the county can guarantee that everything is going to stay exactly the way it is. No one can. Even a new city can't do that."

But Steve says he understands what those neighbors are fighting for. He just hopes they're more successful than he was.

There is a public hearing with Franklin County commissioners on Tuesday to hear from residents about turning the Donut Hole into its own city.

It will be held at the TRAC, starting at 7pm.