Speak up about apartment building
A community meeting was recently held with the mayor and three City Council members to discuss the planned building of a five-story, 25-unit apartment complex on the corner of 18th and O.
This project is unprecedented and a new direction for the city. It would become the city’s tallest building if built. A recent regulation change now allows a 50-foot height on a building. This project could be taller with the two opposing rooftop elevators.
A rendering of the complex in the Sept. 25 Anacortes American looks like the complex is situated in an industrial site, but actually, residential homes exist on three sides of this location.
The question that prevails is this: Are the mayor and City Council right or wrong on this concept, or were the 100-plus attendees opposing it at the Oct. 8 meeting it right?
The idea is to provide more affordable housing for the city and temper our rental prices in existing dwellings. One doesn’t build a multimillion-dollar building and then have the means to undercut existing rental market rates. It will also exacerbate our core traditional rental market availability with the removal of homes that currently are or could be rentals if more of these complexes are constructed. This albatross simply does not belong and will not blend in.
The 2016 Comprehensive Development Plan is the city’s document that contains broad goals and policies. Under “Community Design” this document states, “Provide building massing standards that respect the character and scale of Anacortes’s business districts and residential neighborhoods.” Further it states “Place an emphasis on human-scaled design details that contribute to the City’s character and identity.”
Finally, under the section “Neighborhood Character” it states “Promote the stability and vitality of residential and mixed use neighborhoods” “Encourage housing types and design that reinforce and enhance the character and scale of established neighborhood development patterns.” “Allow growth without sacrificing Anacortes’s unique small town character.” “Facilitate compatibility between existing and new housing.”
I am confused how this massive planned apartment complex is in compliance in any way. Seems someone forgot to refer to the Comp Plan to ensure the tenets are met.
I ask that everyone in this town let city officials know how you feel about this apartment complex.
Thomas P. Lane
Use free speech against hate
I very much appreciate that the council has taken up Resolution 2060. I believe that it is incumbent on all Americans to continually support and express our aspirational American values. I believe that this resolution as proposed is a fine expression of those values and one necessary for the times in which we live.
The purpose of the resolution is to assure all classes of people in Anacortes that our city council will stand with them in the face of rising hate groups, hate speech, hate incidents and hate violence in the United States. The FBI reported that in Washington state hate crimes increased at 32% in 2017 – nearly twice the national rate of increase.
We know that hate speech increases violence toward the groups it targets. “Hate speech” is speech that intimidates, harasses or promotes violence against a set of people. Some act on that speech.
Some on the council raised objections to the resolution over issues of free speech. The resolution does not call on the council to infringe on free speech, even speech that might be interpreted as “hate speech.” The resolution states the responsibility of the council of Anacortes to counter hate speech with its own speech.
All of us are responsible to use our free speech to counter the poison of hate speech, including our elected leaders.
We have a choice to make right now. We can allow ourselves to be divided up into competing groups and have a less prosperous and peaceful future. Or we can all stand up for the human and civil rights of every person, no matter what group to which they may belong.
I believe our strength as a nation comes from standing up for, and speaking out for, liberty and justice for all.
Vote Cleland-McGrath for Council
Christine Cleland-McGrath is the best candidate for City Council, Ward 2.
As a mortgage lender and real estate broker during my 20 years in Anacortes, I have seen big changes. I have been lucky that my husband and I had children who were able to grow up here and take advantage of the exceptional schools, great sports and all this wonderful island has to offer.
Christine and I have helped each other in business and in charity work. Her ability to negotiate both sides of a conflict it second to none. She has a way of working with people that draws them to her. Given her experience on the City Planning Commission, Landlord Tenant Coalition, Advisory Committee to the Port of Anacortes Event Center, and others, she will be an asset to the council.
One of her main concerns is affordable housing. Anacortes has grown into a great little city, but that comes at a price. Christine has the ability to help evolve change at the city level to help facilitate needed affordable housing.
She has so many visions for the city. Christine is the candidate who will get them done.
Tracy P. Foy
Beltramini right choice for schools
Anacortes I would like to add my voice to the chorus of support for Jennie Beltramini for a position on the Anacortes School District Board of Directors.
In the 28 years that I have lived and worked in Anacortes, I don’t believe there has been a single person more prepared to immediately deal with the responsibilities of a School Board member than Jennie is. She has spent her entire adult life serving kids in schools.
There are very few individuals with the breadth of experience, the grasp of the serious challenges that face districts like ours, the understanding of the role of educators and staff, and the ability to get right to good solutions, as she does. Her temperament will produce collegial, solution-oriented, responsible governance. Above all, Jennie has proved that she is most concerned about the growth and well-being of children. She has shown that commitment in a variety of ways in her work and in voluntary efforts.
Jennie Belatramini would be a wonderful addition to a strong School Board in Anacortes. This is an opportunity to enlist an amazing resource for our community.
Scott S. Burnett
If you haven’t mailed in your ballot yet, I encourage you to do so. I also ask you to consider voting for Christine Cleland-McGrath for City Council.
A couple of years ago, Christine got my vote before I knew she would be interested in serving our City Council. I had opportunity to observe Christine in a setting with individuals of diverse opinions and political views.
As we talked about hot topics with the latest current events, I saw that she was open minded and intently listened to all the differing views expressed. She asked great questions, and when she spoke, it was thoughtful and intelligent. I took notice that evening as she really stood out.
With these critical skills, I believe Christine is a valuable asset to serve Anacortes as a City Council member. She is a knowledgeable leader and community volunteer serving our town in variety of capacities over the years. With her experience on the Planning Commission, Anacortes Rotary and as past Chair of the Arts Festival Foundation, she is in touch with and committed to our community. I am confident in her abilities with understanding our community’s needs and working toward finding solutions.
Cleland-McGrath has the experience
Christine Cleland-McGrath will be an excellent addition to the Anacortes City Council. She has the background and experience to help address issues facing Anacortes. These include, but are not limited to affordability and the infrastructure demands growth will place on the city.
As a city Planning Commissioner, her knowledge and involvement in the Anacortes Comprehensive Plan 2016 will be invaluable in her role on the council. As a life-long resident of Anacortes, she has the historic perspective to understand where the city has been, what it is today and where it needs to go in the future.
I have lived in Anacortes for 15 years, and in this short time I have seen significant growth. Planned growth is needed to sustain the local economy into the future and support the continuing needs of the residents.
Christine will provide the perspective to address this growth while at the same time making sure this is a community that works for young people and families, seniors and those in-between.
Thoughtful City Council leadership requires someone who will listen, address issues, has an eye on the future and understands the past. Christine Cleland-McGrath will provide that leadership.
Vote Cleland-McGrath for City Council
Christine Cleland-McGrath is the right choice for Anacortes City Council, Ward 2. She has spent years caring for and investing in our community through volunteer work with Fidalgo Elementary, as president of the Board of Anacortes Arts Festival, her membership in Anacortes Rotary and as a supporter of Island Hospital, Anacortes Family Center and MoNA.
Christine’s goals for Anacortes align beautifully with the work she has done as an Anacortes Planning Commission appointee; she knows keenly the importance of responsible planning and budgeting of infrastructure improvement and emergency services.
She is passionate about updating the Critical Areas, Shoreline and Tree Preservation Ordinances to preserve our unique and pristine environment. She looks forward to further beautifying Anacortes through the South Commercial Corridor Plan, and by working toward completing the Guemes Island Trail.
As a fourth-generation resident of Anacortes, Christine embodies the importance of community and public engagement. Well known around town, she is a hard worker, eager listener and a compassionate ally for Ward 2 residents and all in Anacortes. I am confident in her ability to represent Anacortes with steadfastness and grace. I urge Ward 2 residents to vote for Christine Cleland-McGrath for City Council.
Contributions will help
The Island Hospital Auxiliary would like to thank the community for its contributions to our recent Penny Drive.
The donated funds help support Lifeline for our community members who are not able to afford this essential service.
Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you to community
The Anacortes Noon Rotary Club expresses sincerest gratitude to the generous people and businesses that made our Tribute to the Community event on Sept. 27 a smashing success.
Together,215 revelers many dressed in ‘70s garb, danced like no one was watching to the music of Paul McCartney and the Beatles. We all crossed Abbey Road together and took a Magical Mystery Tour on The Yellow Submarine. And in between the fun and fantastic food, raised funds for worthy charitable causes.
Total receipts for the evening topped $114,000. Major recipients will include mental health resources for Anacortes students, holiday meals for the Salvation Army, the Anacortes Family Center, and many others.
It took a small army of volunteers and donors to make this happen
They truly showed our community some love.
Tim K. Garrison
Anacortes Rotary Tribute Chair