Appeals filed against Bethel campus, community has mixed response


REDDING, Calif. - Five appeals have been filed against the proposed Bethel campus in Redding.

The project was approved by the planning commission last week, but will go to a public hearing to consider the appeals within 30 days.

The major concern in the appeals is traffic. Other issues noted were water, emergency response, housing and noise.

Alice Forbes said she has lived on Posey Lane for two decades. Forbes along with several other neighbors filed an appeal to the Bethel development Monday. Her concern is traffic.

Bethel church said they anticipated that the most people on site at a time would be 2,600.

"Even half of that is 1,300 and I know they've told us everyone won't be at the same service, which will be good, but still, that many vehicles is going to have a major impact on our neighborhood that doesn't see that kind of traffic right now," Forbes said.

Michael Thomas is another long-time resident who believes Bethel has comprehensively addressed those concerns.

"It's inevitable this will have an impact on our neighborhood, but any development here will. When you look at the traffic mitigation they're going to do, it includes not just the traffic intersection we're at, which is Twin Tower and Posey, but roughly about seven intersections that radiate out here for close to a mile," Thomas said.

Forbes said safety on the bridge on Collyer, just before Hawley, is another concern for her. One that she has addressed with the project's engineering and planning consultant.

"There is no bike lane. But he said if they change the striping you'll have room for two lanes and a five foot bike lane. Well I find that very difficult to believe," Forbes said.

However, Thomas believes some of the traffic calming solutions like roundabouts, signals and speed bumps are sufficient.

"Traffic will increase, but we'll handle it. The improvements they're making in traffic I think overall will benefit our neighborhood as far as safety. And Bethel's campus here, which includes a school as well as their church, will in all likelihood increase our property values and keep the crime rate low," Thomas said.

Redding Planning Manager Paul Hellman said they've received five appeals so far.

The last day to send one in is this Friday at 5:00 p.m.

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