The flip side


To the Editor:

The eloquently penned letter to the editor titled “A little-known important collaboration” (Dec. 8), concerning the partnership between the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank and the Island affordable housing groups, would have the reader believe that “all’s well that ends well.” The essay painted a picture of a marriage made in heaven, whereby undeveloped Vineyard land with its “beauty and variety” can now meet the endless, growing need for affordable housing to serve the Island’s burgeoning populace. 

There is, however, a flip side to this tidy tale. The voice seldom heard, if at all, is that of the small property owner or owners who have unwittingly become entangled in this zealous dragnet, orchestrated by these organizations’ oft-repeated mantra, “the sacrifice of the few for the greater good.” These unfortunate homeowners who had at one time lived in peace and privacy are now abutters to housing developments with density and resulting activity that overshadows a modest domicile that had been lovingly carved from the earth and woods.

My question is, How can this unique collaboration achieve its lofty goals and at the same time protect homeowners from this abrupt free fall from a lifestyle once cherished? It may be a difficult concept for homeowners with generous acreage to imagine, but it should be known that nervously looking over your shoulder, checking for surveyors’ orange ribbons, and then anticipating the ensuing earth-moving machinery is a scenario that could not have been imagined.

Cathy Weiss
West Tisbury