I’m a proponent of affordable housing for everyone in Seattle. I recently attended a public hearing in Magnolia at which virtually all speakers favored a proposal to build several hundred affordable units in the Fort Lawton area of Discovery Park. I agree that Magnolia would be a fine choice for new, affordable housing.
But not in Discovery Park.
We’re talking about 500 acres of accessible virgin forest with great hiking trails; spectacular views of forests, Puget Sound and the Olympics; local flora and fauna; and a nature center for children and adults alike. This is not the place to build houses.
Building hundreds of living spaces — and parking lots — will negatively affect Discovery Park: construction, traffic, pollution. And, given the comments at the meeting, who knows what’s next: Grocery stores? Gas stations? Banks? Restaurants?
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I live a block away from playing fields; I’d be glad to see affordable housing there. This is not about depriving poor people of housing. There may be financial advantages to building in Fort Lawton, but surely in this progressive city financial advantages shouldn’t supersede environmental concerns. Can we not find another site for providing housing, one that doesn’t endanger what is perhaps Seattle’s greenest park?
Neal Starkman, Seattle