To the editor:
Every city council election cycle raises a bellwether issue. This year it’s the Suzuki affordable housing project. That’s because a narrow majority of the existing Council has endorsed an all-in plan that threatens to spread the island’s highest density development beyond the Winslow core, potentially destroying a valuable wildlife corridor in the process.
Many islanders are rightly worried about the precedent this sets for the rest of the Island: If the city allows 100 units on city-owned property zoned for 30 homes at Suzuki, what’s to stop similar high-density plans from leap-frogging their way across the entire island?
The answer is your ballot. By voting for candidates who recognize the flaws of the 100-unit Suzuki plan, we’ll elect councilmembers who understand why so many elements of our comprehensive plan limit high-density development to the Winslow core and designated neighborhood centers.
Affordable housing can still happen. In fact, affordable housing is much more likely to be built at Suzuki with a balanced, achievable plan than it is with a max-density plan that presents so many environmental, financial, and legal challenges that it may never get built.
With that in mind, I encourage you to vote for Grayson Wildsmith, Michael Pollock, Kirsten Hytopoulos, and Kol Medina. These four candidates oppose the 100-unit Suzuki plan and I believe they will find a workable solution for the Suzuki property that delivers affordable housing while limiting the unintended impacts that worry so many Islanders.