To the Editor:
I am writing in support of Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard as proposed on land in Edgartown.
I am not a resident of Edgartown, but I am a lifelong Island visitor and resident, primarily from Vineyard Haven. I have been active on the boards of the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation (then known as the Permanent Endowment Fund), Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and Hospice and Palliative Care of Martha’s Vineyard, as well as having served as an EMT in Tisbury for 10 years. I am currently on the bBoard of Navigator Homes, having agreed to serve because of my strong belief that the community of Martha’s Vineyard owes it to our elders to have opportunities for medical care for them here as they age.
The main opposition I have heard for the project is from people who live near the proposed site. They speak of increased traffic and lights and sirens; however, the 70 proposed Green House residents will not be driving anything other than their wheelchairs or walkers, and only around the gardens and grounds of the complex. Others will walk to work onsite. There are few lights and sirens that come to nursing homes, for this is not an emergency facility. We anticipate that there will be occasional visitors to the residents, but there should not be much impact from traffic.
I understand people’s hope that their neighborhood will never change, but that is unrealistic. As our Island population increases, so will the need for places for them to live. If the 28 acres on which Navigator is proposed were to be developed into residences, under current zoning, I believe that the disruption to the neighbors would be more substantial than it will with these clustered buildings with substantial open space set aside.
One of the major and well-recognized issues on the Island is affordable housing for our workforce. This project will provide subsidized rental units for employees of both the nursing home and the hospital. In addition, the hospital will benefit from being able to convert the space currently used by Windemere to expand primary care and specialty medical services to serve the community.
The Island needs this project. I urge you to approve the plans.