What Does This Have To Do With Bainbridge Island?
The problems of providing housing in our own community is merely a reflection of our
share of the problem of soaring world population. To be uninterested in the global
problem is to ignore the real cause of our own problems. Over the last three hundred
years not only has the world population increased significantly, but the rate of
increase has increased. Our present world population growth rate is 2.1 percent
per year, which calculates out to a doubling time of 33 years. If our present
island population is 15,000, by the year 2025 it will most likely be 30,000.
Of course, we can say "Not in my backyard." (The "NIMBY" syndrome), but realistically
we won't be able to get away with it, because most other communities seem to have the
same attitude. We have two options, stop run-away growth or control its progress.
There is a great new interest in land development which follows some of the examples
of the Center to Preserve Rural Massachusetts, or the works of Andres Duany and
Elizabeth Plater-Zypeck. This type of zoning clusters the buildings into human-scale
"small towns" and reserves open spaces for parks, forests and wetlands. ("Revising
the Small Town," Wilson Quarterly, Winter 1992) We heartily applaud this new
concept in subdivision planning. However, here in our community much of our
land has been already subdivided and parcelled out to the standards of yesterday's
This study addresses those areas already subdivided or populated. Their population
is already booming as several people often share existing houses intended for single
family use, or simply go outside the system and build houses illegally. The invisible
homeless in Kitsap County often double up with other families, live in make-shift
shelters or in their cars. In public they try to keep up the appearance of normalcy
to retain their self-esteem. In Bremerton, vacant downtown buildings are already
populated with homeless people.
The problem is already here. The responsible thing to do is to act now.
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