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The Land Bank and our quality of life | Letters
As we watch what we had hoped would be a productive debate on the future direction of one of our most successful local government institutions, the Land Bank, we are amazed how quickly and thoroughly the pattern of national polarization has come home.
We do not expect this letter to refute or convince anyone who is already posturing themselves against the program. We do not even hope to win many of those for whom the words “Land Bank” are unknown.We do however, hope to inspire those of us who have benefited to vote “Yes”.
This is personal.
It is, at the end of the day, all about our quality of life, our reasons for moving to the San Juans and our reasons for investing our time and money in this community. For us, the equation is simple.
The Land Bank provides protection and public access to our most precious resources, our shore, our vistas and our farmlands. And that equation involves balancing preservation with the inevitable pressures from growth and development. It comes down to preservation of our (and your) quality of life.
When we walk our dog, Pi, on the west-side of San Juan, we know how important the Land Bank work has been. When we look across San Juan Valley or up at Turtleback Mountain, we know how important the Land Bank work has been. And, when we try to leave our driveway and wait for 17 (yes, 17) cars heading into town to pass, we know it is critical for the Land Bank to continue to work on our behalf.
Some say that the work of the Land Bank is done.
Over the last 20 years we have preserved less than 3 percent of the land (1.5 percent excluding Turtleback), but still they say the work of the Land Bank is done. Well, we say we need the Land Bank to continue to help balance, inspire and provide solutions to the inevitable impacts that will come as our community continues to grow.
A healthy community is a community in balance. With the Land Bank, we pay approximately $15 per year in extra taxes. Without the Land Bank, we will be paying infinitely more with our quality of life.
It is an easy choice, vote “Yes” for renewal.
Pamela Gross/Charles Anderson,
San Juan Island