Re: “Maybe all of Tacoma will soon feel Proctor’s growing pains” (Matt Driscoll column, 5-21).
Boy, are Proctor residents a bunch of helpless crybabies! According to Driscoll, not only are we “disconcerted” and “frightened” by change, we then resort to “bellowing” and “hollering.”
Rather than promoting a nuanced look at the issue, Driscoll paints the outcry over the planned developments in dismissively cartoonish terms.
Of course a range of opinions are being voiced. But fear of development is not the overriding concern; rather, it’s the massive scale of the new structures. What effect will downtown-sized buildings with expensive retail spaces have on the livability of this “Main Street” neighborhood and on the viability of its existing businesses?
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Proctor has achieved that rare blend of shops, services and institutions that, together, meet residents’ everyday needs, minimizing the need to jump in the car. It’s a valuable example of how we might really develop a sustainable community.
So, the argument is not about density versus sprawl. The argument is about promoting the kind of density that will actually create sustainable communities. By peppering a neighborhood like Proctor with Bellevue-sized buildings, we may be losing a great opportunity to achieve density effectively.