To the editor:
The city’s decision to over-build the Suzuki property with 100 units reveals how special interests control the city council. Housing advocates bullied a four-vote bloc into rubber-stamping their plans, glossing over detrimental environmental impacts and putting the city on the hook for millions of dollars. They combined unrealistic promises and wishful thinking — like arguing that building more homes will actually reduce traffic — in a negative campaign that unfairly labeled Islanders as “supporters” or “opponents” of affordable housing.
I experienced this personally when I joined Suzuki-area residents to create a plan that would provide affordable housing while addressing unintended impacts and limiting the spread of Winslow-style density. Unfortunately, our good-faith efforts were met with contempt from housing advocates and their allies, including Sarah Blossom, who refused invitations to discuss our concerns.
If Islanders are not wary of candidates’ interest in raising building density and development, urbanization of the island will accelerate. One candidate in this year’s at-large race directs policy at HRB and is running to remake housing policy — an obvious conflict. In the South Ward race, Blossom is a strident voice for maximizing the number of roofs on the Suzuki property. You may hear pleasant adjectives for “smart development” but, make no mistake, it really means “more.”
Voters in November have the chance to elect three candidates who will work to manage growth, not capitulate to development interests. Kol Medina, Michael Pollock, and Kirsten Hytopolous bring an experienced, pragmatic approach that will support growth while preserving the special character of the Island.