To explain the reason:
The idea was to use Git only to host the starter-kits. These kits are free from all version control systems.
But you will want to work and test your starter-kit and, to avoid to push unwanted files, you will need a .gitignore.
But this file is not a part of the starter kit and does not need to be downloaded by users.
But in your case, I can understand that if you want to create a starter kit WITH a .gitignore file, it will be a problem.
I checked the pull request and I see that you also keep the .gitkeep files.
These are present to allow empty folders to be cloned.
The user will now have folders with an unnecessary .gitkeep in them.
If the user wants to use SVN for example he will have to delete all these .gitkeep and .gitignore files. (But again I can understand that if you plan to use Git, then it is nice to have already a .gitignore file).
What do you think tsi?
Other proposition: We could add a flag to keep them
But to answer to the last comment, it is not an optimisation for people using SVN.
The starter kits do not contain a .gitignore file. But there is a .gitignore file about the starter-kits because these are hosted on github.