Preservationists or developers? Take your pick | Letter to the editor

Posted 11/2/22

Port Townsend Mayor David Faber, in the October city newsletter, waxes poetic about the joys of living Uptown and being able to easily walk anywhere. So much so, he wants everyone to be able to share …

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Preservationists or developers? Take your pick | Letter to the editor

Posted

Port Townsend Mayor David Faber, in the October city newsletter, waxes poetic about the joys of living Uptown and being able to easily walk anywhere. So much so, he wants everyone to be able to share in his privilege of living Uptown. 

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: Remove all height restrictions, parking requirements, and zone all of uptown as multi-family. Problem solved!

But this is not the solution Mayor Faber is alluding to. He wants the golf course to be dismembered so people who don’t live Uptown “are not excluded from the richness of community to be found at the center of our little city.” On one level that’s pretty arrogant. Only the “center of our little city” has “richness of community,” which can only be accessed by walking a few blocks from your home.

He might try Jefferson Transit, which does a pretty good job of making all of our little city accessible to everyone, which expands our community well beyond his myopic view. Public transit is how barriers are lowered for those who lack other means of getting around or have physical limitations. I walk (with hiking poles; knees not so hot these days), I ride my bike, I drive, I ride Jefferson Transit. I don’t live Uptown, but I have — I don’t miss it.

Sacrificing a crown jewel — something irreplaceable that makes our community special — is too high a price to pay for Mayor Faber’s limited vision of inclusion. An open space with a wetland and native prairie is unique and will only get more precious as we grow. It has a strong golfing community built around it, dedicated to preserving it.

Everyone has a “better use” for open space, especially “cheap” public land, and that pressure increases with growth. But there’s plenty of land in town for development, even if it isn’t in Uptown walking distance. 

The council has to decide if they want to be remembered as preservationists or developers. Which will our heirs value more?

Erik Poulsen
PORT TOWNSEND

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