Comp plan preserves our island’s character | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

A recent letter in this paper, by sitting Councilman Matt Tirman from the South Ward, endorsed Sarah Blossom, and accused opponents of the Suzuki 100-unit development far outside the Winslow core of “cherry-picking” the comprehensive plan.

This is a disturbing term to apply toward a carefully crafted document written to guide our collective decisions.

Locally referred to as “the comp plan,” this guide was crafted more than 30 years ago, and revised every 10 years. I like how it was written in semi-isolation, without the chatter of the issue du jour. It was not written for a standard suburb, but for an island. It recognizes our finite boundaries, our two access points, our single-source aquifer, our remaining intact delicate ecosystems. It strives to preserve the island’s special character. It is consistent, coordinated and concurrent throughout. You cannot “cherry-pick” any goal or policy in any element and be consistent with the whole. All the elements hang together. The one move we should make with “the comp plan” is to continue to codify its guiding principles and elements into our zoning laws.

The comp plan recommends that high-density development be promoted within the Winslow core. We should ensure more affordable housing, and if we want to build high-density affordable housing, we should, and can, do it in the Winslow core. This plan prevents increased traffic congestion, continuing damage to our ecosystems, and depletion of our aquifer.

When I vote for council this November, I’m voting for Michael Pollock. He is a longtime NOAA scientist who combats the threats to our ecosystem. He believes in all the elements of the comp plan that protect our ecosystems, our special character and our way of life. He will ensure an increase to affordable housing, and he will ensure the island is developed without resorting to sprawl. Check out his webpage and decide for yourself.

ELISSA KRATZER

Bainbridge Island

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