Thoughts on a Diverse Town Center
What's great about the Town Center neighborhood is the variety of housing choices the neighborhood has (and will have) to offer. Within only a couple of blocks there are newer and older apartments, townhouses, smaller and midsize single family houses, a low-income apartment complex (Tall Firs), a senior living facility (Merrill Gardens), and an assisted living facility under construction (Vineyard Park). This type of housing variety in close proximity makes for an extremely diverse neighborhood with people from all over the socioeconomic scale. In those same couple of blocks there are several protestant churches, a catholic church, a mosque, a protestant Christian school, a Catholic school, and a public school.
As a parent this is exactly the type of neighborhood I want my kids to grow up in. A neighborhood where they will regularly encounter people different from themselves and will learn to live in a society where those differences can be celebrated, not feared.
There are a lot of problems with how we've been building our suburbs for the last 50 or 60 years but the worst of all has to be the segregation of people from different socioeconomic classes. Large swaths of areas are developed with single development types intended for people in a particular income bracket. In may be miles and miles of $500K single family homes or miles and miles of apartments complexes but in many cities the two shall never meet. It's made us more polarized, more fearful, less empathetic, and less neighborly.
For a number of reasons Mountlake Terrace has avoided much of these damaging development patterns and we're a better community for it.