On Nantucket, wealthy residents oppose housing for seasonal employees

Nantucket Harbor.
. Julia Cumes for the Boston Globe

NANTUCKET — Beside the ninth hole of the Miacomet Golf Course, there’s a large paved lot with a sprawling mechanic’s garage and equipment depot, big tanks of diesel fuel, industrial-sized trash bins, and scores of lawn mowers and other vehicles. There’s also a pile of old furniture from last year when the nearby clubhouse burned down.

Few if any of those potential eyesores have provoked complaints from neighbors, whose views of the lot are almost entirely shielded by a row of cedar trees and other evergreens, the Globe’s David Abel reports.

Then, about a year ago, the Nantucket Land Bank, a public agency that owns the golf course, proposed building a dormitory on the lot for its seasonal employees who help keep the club running. Land Bank officials said the dorm is needed to address the island’s housing crisis, which has made it so hard to find affordable apartments that some workers have been sleeping on basement floors or in old shipping containers.

While the town’s board of selectmen and many others on Nantucket have supported the project, a few neighbors were aghast. Most vocal in opposition has been David Long, the CEO of Liberty Mutual, who owns a stately, cedar-shingled home across the street, a 5,700-square-foot chateau he calls “Summer Wind.”

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