Letters to the Editor

Shoreline Collective ‘rights’ should trump private property | Letters | July 29

Over the years I have heard a great deal of talk about the “rights” of private property owners.

I have yet to hear any talk at all about civic virtue, something that the founders of this wonderful country felt was necessary if our system of government was to survive.

Nor have I heard any talk about the obligation of private property owners to exercise their “rights” in such a way that they do not infringe on the rights of others.

To the founders of this wonderful country owning property was a sign that you were free. It is, I believe, an instrumental, and not an intrinsic value.

To the best of my knowledge the “rights” of private property owners are limited rights.

In large part, the mess we have gotten ourselves into with environmental degradation and out-of-control development is in large part due to private property owners exercising their “rights” without regard to civic virtue or the rights of others.

I remember Bainbridge Island when it was still a rural community.

As a community we have a right to make decisions about the kind of community we live in, even if it means putting limits on the actions of others.

The fact is that any action we take affects others and we must ensure that our actions do not affect others in a detrimental way.

It would be interesting, as some of the more cynical people I have talked to suggest, to learn how much money those who most strongly advocate the “rights” of private property owners stand to lose if the limitations of those “rights” are put into place.

The Rev. Stephen Ekholm

Bainbridge Island

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