Letter: Planned developments will be a ‘visual blight’


Recent letters to the editor have discussed both jet noise and tourist crowds. But the complaints about tourists and the traffic they bring will pale in comparison to the traffic created by the housing developments our city leaders have approved.

There are almost 550 homes in the development stage within the City of Oak Harbor. All approved with no requirements to mitigate the increased traffic load on our streets and highways.

Three of these developments are a short distance from the State Highway 20 and Swantown Road intersection.

If these projects are successful, traffic will be near a complete standstill during the non-tourist months and worse with the summer visitors.

The same is true for the intersections of Highway 20 and Pioneer Way, Erie and Bayshore, and all the others going north out of town.

Improvements to handle the increased traffic have been ignored by our city leaders. We will need wider roads, special turn lanes, and roundabouts to just begin to solve this pending problem.

These improvements must be done before these developments proceed.

The city really needs to give serious thought to the amount of new development being allowed. In most cases these homes will be built on tiny lots with literally wall-to-wall houses.

The homes planned above Walmart and Safeway are absolutely ugly boxes stacked one on top of the other.

The developer refers to them as “Northwest Modern.”

This visual blight will be in addition to the traffic congestion.

People from Seattle are leaving to escape similar congestion and over-building. No doubt, like Seattle, we’ll soon be encouraged to park our cars and ride bicycles.

Our city leaders and these developers may well regret what they are doing to our island. I ask; is there really a housing shortage on the island?

There are hundreds of unsold homes listed. When the developers are done, there will no doubt be more.

Loretta Hamburg


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