I’ve hesitated to write, fearing I was just being curmudgeonly and resistant to change; but, having chatted with yet another Coupeville resident dismayed with the new construction on the corner of Northwest Alexander and 8th, and knowing that more construction is coming soon in the heart of our little town, I decided something should be said.
My neighbors and I do not understand how the design for this project was approved. The building seems to go from set-back to set-back and to strain height restrictions, obscuring local views.
This is in sharp contrast with other homes in downtown Coupeville, scaled to fit in with historic buildings and surrounded by fruit trees, flowers or hedges.
Though zoned as a commercial property, the new building will be primarily residential, with vacation rental units below.
I understand some crave large, contemporary homes with commanding views, but why come to a small town, known for its historic charm and communal celebrations, and build right at its center such an aggressive, inconsiderate building?
Does Coupeville not have codes or guidelines governing scale, house-to-land ratios and landscaping in its historic center? Or did town officials choose to disregard these? If we don’t have adequate guidelines, this needs to be changed.
If our community officials are not enforcing these guidelines and making exceptions on behalf of contractors, we need to be more careful whom we elect in the future and more vocal about the priority we place on preserving the spirit of our small town.