Planning Commission is responsible for protecting parkland | Letter

The following is an open letter to the Planning Commission regarding the up-zoning of Mercerdale Park.

As a two-year resident of Mercer Island, I have been reluctant to have my voice heard on one of the city’s most divisive issues. Putting aside all the internal politics I have been hearing of favoritism, unbalanced budgets and a disregard for a public vote on the issue, I feel the council needs to hear from as many residents and viewpoints as they can.

As a Bellevue native we chose to move to Mercer Island for its open space and abundant parks. The commission’s job is to protect these parks from the urban pressure to develop. Once open space is given up, it cannot be reclaimed. You have the responsibility to not only protect the land from current demands but to keep the zoning in place to protect it for future generations.

Our region is in an economic and development boom. Never has there been this much infrastructure changes going on. It is the time for the MICA project to take off but supporters should be held accountable to go out in this vibrant community and raise their own funds and build on private lands.

The city and commissioners should not be picking and choosing which charitable organizations to give our future generations land to. These beautiful parks were created for the good of all and that is what open space is about. I believe that all parks and open space are for everyone’s benefit and should not be given away for private development. We have an open market system and they are welcome to go out and purchase the land required for their project.

Mercerdale Park land would not be up for debate now if the past commissioners had succumbed to the demands of the numerous requests that previously wanted this space for projects that were just as important as the one before you now.

“Let us leave a splendid legacy for our children … let us turn to them and say, this you inherit: guard it well, for it is far more precious than money … and once destroyed, nature’s beauty cannot be repurchased at any price.”— Ansel Adams

Thank you for your time and efforts on this matter.

Linda Anchondo

Mercer Island