To the Editor:
I’m writing to comment on changes to Washington’s land use rules. I did not believe that the current rules needed change. I still worry that codifying rigid limitations risk inhibiting creativity and community.
Following the Board’s adoption of changes, however, I wanted to observe on the process and thank all involved. The time, patience, and energy expended by Board members, town residents, and others were laudable. As painful as this has been, I was impressed by the community’s engagement. I’m similarly appreciative that the Board gathered feedback and reflected some of that as the revisions evolved. Ultimately, the process reflected the best of politics, community engagement, and compromise.
The beauty of a small town is when differences can be aired and considered. The magic of a small town is when after debate and disagreement, we hold hands and make the best of things.
Time will tell if the new regs are the “Goldilocks” choice that is just right for our town. I’m hopeful that (as promised by the Board) there is sufficient flexibility in the “incidental and customary” language on temporary uses to maintain what we’ve come to expect for our town. If not, we will need to adapt and (shudder) revise these regulations again.
There’s a cliche that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. I’m confident this isn’t a camel and while it isn’t the horse some of us preferred, it seems a fair place to start. There’s a reason we choose to be in Washington. A pattern of the town and its residents engaging, compromising, and investing in the future is critical to keeping this such a special place.
It’s an apt moment to thank all involved, both town leaders and town residents, for their efforts. Let’s move on together.
Tim and Stephanie Ingrassia