Stratton Flats denial was a mistake
Loss for everyone
I would have been among the most qualified to stand up in defense of the recently defeated plan to construct more rental apartment units in Stratton Flats for a couple of reasons, though I was not aware of it until the proposal had been defeated. As a local pastor, I am acutely aware of the lack of quality affordable housing in the area.
It is beyond a commercial or development issue for me. It is a matter of justice and common sense. Many in the area struggle to make ends meet with the high cost of living unless they have two or more sources of income. So businesses lose quality employees because they cannot afford to both live AND work here. This is an issue I know most of the local town councils are aware of. In the article, it mentioned that the company planning to build the property was going to include provisions for people to be able to afford their housing based on their income.
The other reason I need to speak out about the loss that this decision created is that I lived a year in the building in question that Polar Star properties owns. The primary argument against building more rental properties in that neighborhood was that “the transient nature of apartment residents … results in increased crime and partying issues.”
While that may be an issue in some places, the building in question is one of the quietest and cleanest places I have ever lived. Though it had 100 percent occupancy the year I lived there, I regularly walked from one end of the large building to the other and never heard or saw a soul. A neighbor was not allowed to keep a second car covered on the property despite many free parking spaces because they didn’t want the property to look trashy.
This is a typical case of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) and is a loss for everyone, even the residents who protested it. Included in the proposal according to the article were badly needed amenities such as a dog park, community gardens, pickleball and volleyball courts and much more. We lost all of that because of a weak and inaccurate argument.
Rev. Daniel Tisdel
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