OPINION

Letter: Urges support for Hudson Issue 18

Kent Weeklies
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This November, Hudson voters will have a lot of important decisions to make. I would like to highlight one ballot item that I think is very important: Issue 18.

By charter, City Council must appoint residents to a Charter Review Commission every five years. The Commission, with input from residents, reviews the city charter and may propose changes to it. The charter is the “constitution” of our city, and the bedrock of our local government. 

Issue 18 deals with residential density, which is another way of saying “the number of homes allowed per acre”. It seeks to make two much needed changes:

1. It would clarify that only City Council can increase the density of a property, and closes a loophole that currently allows city staff to change density without Council’s approval.

2. It would specify that it requires approval by six council members (supermajority) to increase the density of a property, ensuring that any future density increase has broad community support.

I had an opportunity to present resident feedback to the Commission earlier this year. One item in particular, “Referendum Zoning'', was suggested by multiple residents. That is a zoning strategy used by some of our neighboring communities which sends all zoning changes to the ballot box.

The Commission was divided on whether or not referendum zoning was a good idea, but after identifying the root concerns they offered the language in Issue 18 as a compromise solution.

I have had the opportunity to chat with many of the residents who made the original request, and they overwhelmingly agree that it is a great compromise. It would protect current residents while still allowing for flexibility and future growth. I join those residents in encouraging you to vote "yes" on Issue 18.

Skylar Sutton, Ward 3 Councilor