Letters to the Editor

Coupeville: How about Big Rock Park?

Tuesday evening the Commissioner’s Hearing room was packed to overflowing with people eager to express their concern about the proposed development in front of Coupeville’s Big Rock. A two-story, 4,200-square foot building with parking for 20 cars is proposed for the roughly half-acre space in front of this local landmark.

The building will be offset, but will still cover roughly two-thirds of the front of the lot. There is inadequate space for delivery trucks to turn around in the parking area proposed, so they will have to park on the street. It will add congestion to the area especially when school and ferry traffic coincide in the morning and evening.

The lot is currently zoned residential. It is flanked by a school, a residence and Big Rock Apartments. Down the street is the Sunshine house group home for the elderly.

Big Rock is actually a glacial erratic, the largest in Washington. It was carried from British Columbia 12,000 years ago by an immense glacier one mile thick. It is legacy of the titanic forces that shaped this place and make it unique. It is a source of history, mystery and wonder for all who have seen it from the time that there were people here to see it. It is part of our heritage.

The solution is simple. Preserve our heritage by establishing a park. Everybody, except the developer of course, wins. The town wins by developing a point of interest that draws tourist dollars. The school wins by having something that says to children, “We value you enough to want you to be safe and have pleasant surroundings in which to learn and grow.” The south Coupeville community wins by having a place that puts them on the map as well as being an aesthetic, historic and social resource to the area. The comprehensive plan has already identified the need for more parks in Coupeville and identified the south end as having the greatest need.

As a friend of mine from Oak Harbor said, “When people think of the Big Rock, they think of Coupeville and vice-versa.” The rock identifies this place. Its story needs to be told. This is a perfect opportunity to preserve something of value for posterity.

The next hearing will be July 9 at 7 p.m. Written comments will be accepted until July 3 and can be addressed to the Coupeville Town Council. PO Box 725, Coupeville, WA 98239.

Gary Piazzon


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