Leave Suzuki property as undeveloped land | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

Ross Lambert recently wrote a letter in support of the Suzuki development. He supports Suzuki because clustered housing with shared walls is preferable. He’s correct about that one point.

I, along with supporters of our comprehensive plan, oppose Suzuki for these reasons:

• The environment. The 14-acre parcel is a carbon sink that should be preserved during this climate crisis.

• Suzuki is not walkable, except to the school. How do we know? Because residents living closer to Safeway — the Commodore and Sakai Village neighborhoods — do not appear to be walking to the supermarket.

• Suzuki lacks the necessary infrastructure. Taxpayers will have to pay for wider roads (four lanes?), and an extended sewer system and water mains among other needs.

• Suzuki will be affordable for residents, but not for taxpayers. The tax burden is reported at $7.5 million to $9.5 million.

• Suzuki will set a precedent for high-density outside the Winslow Core, paving the way for high-density development in the far-flung Island Center at taxpayer expense.

Islanders love the comprehensive plan. It confines high-density to the walkable, pedestrian-friendly Winslow Core. The city owns the land where the current police department is located. Let’s develop that land for 100 percent affordable housing. It’s one block from the ferry, and a short walk to downtown. The infrastructure already exists. The proper zoning already exists.

With all the delays and angst concerning Suzuki, the Highway 305 and Winslow Way corner can be developed more quickly.

MARY CLARE KERSTEN

Bainbridge Island

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