Island might lose rural character

We read with interest the recent articles concerning the two proposed low-income developments at the edges of Vashon town. While we agree with the need for affordable housing on the island, we question the appropriateness of these urban and centralized solutions, which are being proposed for our rural island. They seem wholly out of scale with what the Vashon Community Plan says is its #1 priority: “Maintain the rural character of the town and island.”

A decentralized approach would be more appropriate, cheaper, faster and less intrusive. Ideas such as returning AirBnBs to rentals, expanding and funding options like ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units), easier permitting for smaller-less expensive-walkable housing in the town core, and similar decentralized rural solutions, could all be instituted much more effectively than these big developments.

If we keep planning high-density developments as the way to build Vashon town, we contribute to the loss of rurality here, and the entire island will suffer from the consequences and lose much of what makes it special.

— Saul Fortunoff and Weslie Rodgers

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