Residents prefer rural. I couldn’t agree more with the comments collected in the survey from Kingston Township residents. While I am not a resident of Kingston Township, I am a resident of a quickly waning “rural” Delaware County area.

Over the past decade, I have failed to get excited about the boasted fact that Delaware County is the fastest growing in Ohio. I am told how great this is since it will increase my property value. That doesn’t matter if I do not plan to sell. The value of my property is not monetary but rather sentimental for the country home setting.

In my teen years, I left a small city to shine in the big city lights of Columbus. After residing on OSU campus and then in a Hilliard apartment, I craved a quiet, uncongested area of wide-open spaces. An existing home on the outside of Ostrander offered what I had once fled.

The village itself continues to project a Mayberry vibe with one central stop sign, a hometown pizzeria, a quaint library, and small post office; but the surrounding area is a maze of newly built housing.

I think many people move to places such as the village of Ostrander (or Kingston Township) because they value the small, quiet country charm. My hope is that the incoming neighbors are willing to make the drive to Delaware or Marysville and do not urge the conveniences to build stores in our community.

However, I imagine like the sands through an hourglass, Ostrander will soon birth a Kroger, Walmart and McDonald’s. I wonder how long it will be before the village metamorphosizes into the city of Ostrander.

I echo the voice of a Kingston Township resident who wisely stated that retaining rural areas in the Sahara of urbanization will create “rare and precious” oases, which would inadvertently increase my property value. Many who sought solace from suburban Columbus decades ago are now purchasing property further into outlying areas to accommodate the urban sprawl occurring here. Those of us craving the wide-open spaces will need to start over elsewhere, thus becoming part of the growing population of another rural area.

I wish rural pockets outside of Columbus suburbs were prized possessions to be conserved for their unique value rather than spaces to be conquered.

Julie Riley