Values and rights | Letter

Like a pox, there is wanten residential development erupting all over the island.

Abhorant, out-of-character structures that crowd their lots is the topic of conversational pastime everywhere. It affects neighboring residences, of course, and it influences communal hometown pride beyond.

A legislative cure is in the works. As the process of development code rewrite nears completion in the Planning Commission and thence to the Council, the cure is being opposed. The cure is intended to preserve the demographics of the Island.

Opposition to the process is to allow as-is development, for the sake of ever increasing development. During the process, the opposition is ever increasing. Opposition rhetoric is being based on two apparently adjoint features of property: property value and property rights.

The argument goes like this: changing development code imposes limitation on rights (reduces them) that limit options for future sale (market value). The counter argument, a more reasonable one, is that the changed development code protects property values even if more restrictive now.

For me, I value the appearance of my neighborhood over an unpredictable market value years ahead. You should too. Be informed as with the city web site. To be uninvolved by being uninformed is not a path of least resistance, it is a willingness to suffer the disease without cure.

Lloyd Gilman

Mercer Island

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