To the editor:
Regarding the proposed land use for the 80-plus-room hotel amphitheater and conference meeting site, I am totally opposed for the following reasons:
• Size. The hotel site is zoned for a 15-room inn. The hotel is six times larger than what is permitted. The intention of a conditional use permit is to permit a somewhat larger structure, not something six times larger with a commensurate increase in impact.
• Intensity. Zoning dictates that downtown Winslow should be our area of most intense use. But the hotel will increase that intensity beyond what the downtown can handle. It will generate too much traffic, congestion, parking demand, and noise.
• Precedent. Allowing the hotel would set a precedent for downtown Winslow, enabling all future development to be this size.
• Economic vitality. The comp plan and Winslow Master Plan encourage projects that will promote economic vitality and the developers cite the hotel’s potential to do this. However, economic vitality can also be produced by a smaller development with less adverse impact on the downtown.
The hotel contains a high-end restaurant and bar which will provide competition for other Winslow eateries rather than encouraging their use. A smaller project without a restaurant and bar would adhere to the master plan and build traffic for Winslow restaurants.
The comp plan and Winslow Master Plan note the importance of tourism on the island economy. The hotel promotes tourism but also jeopardizes the small town charm that will draw tourists here long term.
• Small town feel. The comp plan and Winslow Master Plan emphasize maintaining the “small town feel” of Winslow. This doesn’t.
• Services for people who live here. The comp plan and Winslow Master Plan emphasize development that serves the people who live here. The hotel serves visitors. Its lovely closed courtyard is accessible only to patrons.
• Jobs. The comp plan and Winslow Master Plan encourage projects that will create jobs for Bainbridge residents. The hotel will create low-wage jobs that will draw primarily from Kitsap County as hotel employees will not be able to afford to live here.