Gateway: Opinion

Letters to the Editor, Nov. 10

Agreeing on what’s defines ‘greater good’ is the real challenge

(Ref: From the Helm; Outsider perspective helps solve complex downtown issues, Nov. 3).

Thanks for summarizing your discussion with the UW’s Dr. Nicholls concerning the 2013 Gig Harbor Storefront Studio project.

Unfortunately, the project focused on just the downtown business area, while a lot of today’s increasingly contentious and controversial issues are occurring out near the city limits and/or urban growth area boundaries.

Let me caveat: I am a “glass half-full” guy. I am not an anti-growth, environmental radical tree-hugger. I absolutely agree Gig Harbor has to grow. It’s the rate of growth and scale of these projects that’s alarming. Especially when coupled with some of the “smoke and mirror” solutions to very real problems, offered by the city administration.

As far as being “skeptical of development plans,” I appreciate that Gig Harbor has very stringent permitting and mitigation requirements, but that doesn’t change the reality that sometimes the answer should just be “no.” The fact(?) that the state told Gig Harbor to “slow down” should concern everyone.

Regardless, my takeaways from your dissertation are: The earth is round. And Gig Harbor is no different than many other towns, that were unique at one time, but let growth and development chip away at that uniqueness, until the original charm and character disappeared, and the town morphed into whatever shape it exhibits today. We’re slow to learn from other’s mistakes, and we are loving it to death. To me, that is the “worst possible outcome of development.”

Your last paragraph says it all: “... sometimes it’s about ‘sacrificing for the greater good.’” I guess agreeing on what the term “greater good” means is the problem.

Tom Curran, Gig Harbor