Capital LTE: “Misinformation distracts from real issues surrounding Crystal Spring”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, April 20, 2017

Discord over development of Crystal Spring continues and a satisfactory resolution seems no closer than when the project was first proposed.

Walter Vasquez’s recent letter to the editor (The Capital, April 12) is an example of why this might be so. His opinions aren’t based on the current facts. Yet he builds on them to draw conclusions that ignore important concerns, while dismissing other viewpoints.

Mr. Vasquez characterized a previous letter (The Sunday Capital, April 9) as an example of “the tired negative narrative that all development is bad.” Perhaps that letter did not point out the development’s benefits, but surely it did not dismiss all development projects as bad.

Mr. Vasquez, however, is hardly impartial as he extols the virtues of the Village at Providence Point. Oddly, he bases his praise on a 2016 study of the economic impact of the proposed Village at Crystal Spring. That proposal was withdrawn months ago.

Putting aside the fact that the study is now irrelevant, it is significantly lacking in many important details. Increased traffic on Forest Drive impacts our economy, but it is not discussed. The study plugs the number of jobs to be created, but neglects to examine the kinds of jobs. What levels of skill will be necessary? Will employees be able to afford to live in the area? Will low-wage jobs burden government agencies with health care and housing needs? The study ignores the costs of social and environmental impacts.

When discussing significant changes, it is critical to get the facts straight. The Capital bears some responsibility for fact-checking and would serve its readers well to not publish a critique based on a bygone project and its obsolete and incomplete analysis. Every proposal has pluses and minuses to debate. We don’t need the distraction of misinformation.


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