Commission should deny project

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To the Editor:

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission will hold a final public meeting (via Zoom) Thursday, July 2, on the proposed luxury housing development in the Edgartown Great Pond watershed. Many Islanders have voiced their ardent disapproval of this proposal, citing its enormous negative impact on traffic and the environment, its hastening of inequality and suburbanization of the region, its drain on water and other resources, and its insistence on “business as usual” in the face of the gathering storm of climate change.

This proposal, to build 28 mega-houses and 14 condo units on 54 acres of woodland, a scant distance from the endangered Great Pond, has come to represent how the confluence of small-town politics and bigtime money places profit over common sense, and the natural and social environments. Everyone knows the Island has reached the tipping point of development, is seeing ever increasing amounts of traffic, is losing much of its intangible but very real, and once treasured, character, and that actions must be taken to at least slow down the degradation.

As its website states, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission was created to “protect the health, safety, and general welfare of island residents and visitors by preserving and conserving for the enjoyment of present and future generations the unique natural, historical, ecological, scientific, and cultural values of Martha’s Vineyard … by protecting these values from development and uses which would impair them …”

Though situated in Edgartown, this project would have an irreversible regional impact. Its fate, and the direction the Vineyard will head in the future, is in the hands of our elected and appointed commissioners. Please consider contacting your commission representatives and urging them to deny the application for this unnecessary project that abounds in detriments and benefits only the very few.

The Island community looks to the commission to honor its inspiring charter and its critical mission, to think about future generations, and to protect our community’s values, which include fairness and reverence for our fragile natural and social environment. A more equitable and sustainable future is ours, if we create it by wise decisions and actions.

 

Jeff Agnoli
Edgartown