To the editor:
I ravenously read the March 5 Bainbridge Islander article titled Developer floats project with affordable housing. It sounded like a giant leap toward the beginning of a resolution of an issue that troubles many of us.
Much of my working career was in the field of economic development and affordable housing. My first concern was to the number of units that were to be allocated as “affordable” in relation to the amount that would not. The ratio presented is pretty good. I then looked for where the housing would be built. The property is available, accessible, and walkable to downtown and ferry.
I’m not surprised to hear traffic issues being raised as a reason to deny this development. Don’t the unaffordable homes built on Madison just south of High School Road also present a traffic issue? How about other dense developments in the area or outside of the core that require car trips up and down Highway 305? Is it only affordable housing that presents a traffic issue?
It appears no affordable housing on the island would be acceptable to everyone. Do we abandon the idea? Which housing development on the island did not have community residents up in arms and was approved despite protests. Wintergreen Walk may not be the ideal affordable housing project, but every great journey begins with the first step. I have to wonder why the city is not being proactive on the Suzuki property, an ideal spot for dedicated affordable housing.
To the editor:
Long experience, in both my military and civilian careers, has taught me that to solve a problem it is often necessary to think outside the box.
I am suggesting that the city has a simple solution to resolve the quandary we are in regarding the police station. The city owns a viable property that would be an ideal location for a police station, and by utilizing it, has an opportunity to save taxpayers a considerable amount of money.
Part of the Fire Station property, located at Madison Way and Highway 305, is comprised of a large helipad southwest of the main buildings. The helipad can be easily incorporated, as a rooftop adjunct, to a large building housing the proposed police station, on this site.
The location offers ready access to a main arterial and is central to the Island. One great advantage of this plan is that it allows for the funds realized, from the sale of both the Harrison Hospital property and the sale of the property on which the present police station is located, to be used for paying the construction costs of the new police station, and if desired a courthouse.
My experience as an engineer has shown me repeatedly, it is far more efficient and expedient to assign a project to a well-qualified individual who would be solely responsible for the timely accomplishment of the entire project, rather than by committee.
I recommend that our newly hired city manager assign this project to a key person and have the project’s progress posted in a biweekly report, to be published in the Bainbridge Review. I would be willing to volunteer and act in an advisory capacity, but at 92 years of age, I am limited from any further involvement.
Fred M. McGinnis