I was dismayed at the tone of a recent letter writer, decrying the Cambridge Place and Madison Place apartments in Stanwood-Camano Village as attracting a “transient population” somehow anathema to her idealistic version of “our community.” She draws the conclusion that residents of this new development will be contributors to more shoplifting, car prowls and vandalism.
There are innumerable law-abiding citizens who rent rather than own or have no choice but to do so. Sometimes ownership is out of reach due to income levels, particularly with rising home values. Sometimes people are in transition through divorce, downsizing or relocations. And sometimes home ownership is simply not a priority in their lives. Does that make them potential criminals?
Having managed apartments, and owning three rentals of my own, I know there is no basis for stereotyping renters. Among the tenants I have had the pleasure to know are active, independent seniors not yet ready for assisted living, Stanwood High School graduates just starting out, a retired State Patrol officer, a pastor, a retired Marine, a local barista, a Boeing engineer and a couple renting while they build their first home.
I trust science and engineering together with the rigors of permitting review and am confident these new developments pose no danger to our infrastructure.
They are located on parcels of land that were conceived over 20 years ago for exactly such use and have sat idle all these years, contributing nothing to our economy. They provide needed affordable housing that is walking distance to shopping, restaurants, entertainment, bus lines, schools and our crown jewel, the YMCA.
Some tenants will need no vehicle; many will own just one car. But one thing is for certain — all will contribute to the much-needed “Shopping Local” movement that is so important to our local merchants.