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Bloomingcamps A Highway Bypass Interchange?

POSTED October 9, 2012 10:51 p.m.

Dear Editor,

Caltrans informed the TEA (Transportation Expressway Authority), September 19, 2012, that the proposed Lancaster interchange has been eliminated which leaves only two locations under consideration. Personally, I have always thought that the Lancaster site would be more of a bypass than the other locations. Stearns Road is almost in town and in 10-20 years it will probably be in town. The two proposed sites left under consideration are the Stearns Road approach (Bloomingcamp Ranch) or the Wamble Road (Burchell Nursery) approach. I would like to suggest that North County Corridor authorities study the possibility of putting the interchange on the south/east corner of Stearns Road. That is open, and dry land. It is also more suitable topographically. A Sept. 13, 2010 preliminary map shows the East end of the NCC there. Why has it changed?

In the Oakdale Leader, Sept. 26 issue, you read about the possibility of locating the interchange at the Burchell location. What a travesty to destroy such a wonderful county business. Now let’s consider the other choice: the Bloomingcamp Ranch. It seems a shame that with all the acreage between Stearns and Wamble roads that the county and Caltrans cannot arrange to place the interchange where it would have fewer impacts. If located at the Bloomingcamp Ranch it will take out approximately 20 or more acres of prime agriculture. Our ranch is heavily vested in almond and walnut trees and expensive micro irrigation. The ranch is our sole living. We are concerned that what would be left would only offer us a subsistent living. Not to mention the impact on our Barn/Bake shop, park and pond. Our ranch has served the area with our famous pies and baked goods for many years. The barn will reopen to the public Saturday, October 20. Over the past 25 to 30 years we have taken thousands of school children on Ag Education tours of our ranch. Many couples have been married in our park. There have been memorial services and Easter sunrise services held there. People use it daily at no charge. The park and pond have become the unofficial photo op location for the county. Weddings, birthdays, reunions, families, and graduates have been photographed here. Thousands have enjoyed special events held here for about the past 30 years. In a couple of weeks we will be welcoming folks to our annual Oktoberfest, October 20-21. It seems such a shame to bury this under a highway interchange. The Bloomingcamps have spent 65 years of blood, sweat and tears making it the lovely ranch that it is. This has been our home, our children’s, niece’s and nephew’s home, our grandchildren’s home and our great grandchildren’s home for five generations.

Please review the possibility of placing the interchange on the southeast corner of Stearns Road and Highway 120. There are about three parcels there that are fairly level and do not have any of the impacts upon a current business or families living there. There is time to reconsider. This is important. Why has this alternative never been considered or if it was, why was it rejected? We were some of those who were not notified. The city and the county owe it to us to let us know how they arrived at their decisions and why the Stearns Road corner access was not considered.

Bill and Joy Bloomingcamp

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