Time to stop building


To the Editor:

In direct opposition to the letter by James Joyce (the Edgartown realtor, not the Irish poet) in last week’s paper — I don’t think we’ve reached the tipping point of conserving our Island land, we’ve exceeded the tenable tipping point of building Martha’s Vineyard out. We’re peopling her up so, we’re building her up so, we’re trafficking her up so — Martha’s Vineyard is becoming unrecognizable.

The noise pollution itself is shocking in my Tisbury neighborhood — mowing, blowing, tree cutting, etc. — and there is the light pollution, the traffic pollution, the building, building, building.

The luxury building allowed here is absurd. Water-hogging lawns and gardens should be a thing of the past. Some people are still watering emerald-green lawns in spite of this summer’s drought — what waste. Waste that can no longer be tolerated.

We are in an enviable and frightening position, being an Island community. We can and should be saying NO to new building plans — the fancy grand to the “affordable.” Repurpose old buildings, don’t demolish them.

The world needs more “green” natural spaces to recharge herself and us, not building developments or “great homes” that require staff. I say a moratorium on building is less reckless than the cessation of land conservation. (The trickle-down effect of THAT possibility is a more measured withdrawal from the greedy bloat of this beleaguered Island.)

OK, I suppose that may never happen — but a girl can dream — and suggest stricter building requirements and more land conservation, not less.

Martha’s Vineyard truly is a metaphor for the “off-Island” world. The “when is enough, enough” ship has sailed; we’re in the leaky boat of greed.

We are overburdening and exhausting our fragile, finite, and eroding land, and her finite resources. We can’t house everyone who wants to live here. We must take care of our land and resources. Being an Island community, we are in an enviable and frightening position.

Susan Jones
Vineyard Haven