There is the growing sentiment in this city, and it is shared by many longtime residents and homeowners, that Everett cannot go on building more and more housing units without the personality of the city being changed irrevocably forever.
More importantly, many longtime residents believe the city is being radically transformed, and in such a wholesale way by all the new construction going up and being allowed throughout all the neighborhoods, that they don’t recognize the city anymore.
A new wave of public voices is growing asking for a construction moratorium or at least a temporary stop to new construction.
What to do?
We are not certain a halt to new construction would be useful or financially appropriate.
The wave of new development in Everett is, for the most part, a giant plus.
Two new developments of 55 acres by the Everett waterfront and 95 acres bordering it and including the Exxon Mobil property are perfect locations for massive, unrestricted development of housing, and commercial business and industrial use.
Those two developments will ultimately create new neighborhoods more vibrant than anyone can right now imagine.
There should be no stopping these two developments.
In addition, Everett is the kind of city where much of the population doesn’t care enough about what happens on the other side of the Revere Beach Parkway to force city hall to have the kind of endless and time consuming meetings that might be held in communities where residents would be marching in torchlight parades against big developments like those we are welcoming without a shout against them.
We have said it before- it would be better for the city to know what it wanted and to order it up from developers instead of developers telling us what they are planning to do.
But neither the mayor nor city hall is capable of creating billion dollar developments.
In the older neighborhoods, the cry is for more parking, not less of it, for more restrictions on new housing than fewer restrictions, and for a return to the enforcement of zoning and parking regulations associated with zoning.
The crush of new units being approved in the city’s older residential neighborhoods is not a rising tide. It is a full-fledged flood.
Many residents argue that they are unable to park on streets they’ve lived on for decades, and that more and more new units being approved without parking restrictions put in place will further reduce the quality of life here.
Then there is the traffic logjam.
Traffic is worse than it’s ever been. Every new development increases the impossibility of maneuvering around with an automobile, let alone parking the automobile.
Stopping new development would be a mistake.
Controlling it, well, that is another matter entirely.
A public discussion needs to be held on the matter.
A free and open exchange of ideas is needed to move into a better future.