The number of contradictions is concerning
Letter to the Editor
Re: Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 4080 and 4081, 2022 – Parnaby Road.
Dear Members of City Council:
The vote following the public hearing on March 14 was deeply disappointing. The number of contradictory statements, the dismissal of those objecting and dismissal of the facts of our historical population growth in favour of crystal balling 10 years or more out, like the original Shadow Mountain developers did, is reckless.
Councillor Ron Popoff: “. . . How we develop that piece of rural land we really need to have a growth strategy and not start incrementally putting high density, multi-use family developments willy nilly on some five acre parcel between where we have already urbanized Cranbrook and that urban peninsula out there as part of this Neighbourhood Plan. Yes, I support this motion but I would not be interested in looking at other urban developments in those big rural areas between our current city urbanization and where the Shadow Mountain and this Neighbourhood Plan are.”
You voted for a “willy nilly” development even though you say you don’t support this kind of development here. Isn’t this a knee jerk reaction to a speculative real estate proposal? How is this planned growth?
Councillor John Hudak: “. . . Of that 30 people, it’s kind of interesting to note that one-third of those people are the neighbours and two-thirds of the people, there are some people from Area C, there’s some people from within the City of Cranbrook and you know, although their comments are relevant, a lot of them echoed what all of the neighbours had already said.”
Separating people into categories is divisive. Are some peoples’ comments less worthy than others? Mr. Hudak appears to only hear to the proponent.
Coun. Wayne Price: “ . . . if something doesn’t happen out there in the short term or mid-term that development is not going to be able to support itself. It’s going to be costing as we say, the core taxpayer, . . . that’s who’s going to be paying the bill. . . I’ve heard a number of times that the taxpayers are going to be paying for it. As long as this thing is under development, the taxpayers are not paying for anything. The developer will be paying all costs associated with this development. . . but people would rather see development closer to home or properties closer to the centre of the core of Cranbrook. . . I totally support infill. The problem is we have a fair amount of land that is available. We even have land available within Shadow Mountain right now . . . that development is not going to pay its way and we’re just going to see in time that the taxpayer in Cranbrook is going to be footing the bill for a lot of the services that are associated with the maintenance of that subdivision.”
Does the taxpayer pay for development or not? Don’t strata developments pay for maintenance? You say you support infill, yet you voted against it in favour of sprawl development with only city water service. If we have so much land available, why develop so far out in a rural setting?
Coun. Wes Graham: “. . . listed in there was people’s concerns over a fire hall. Well, we’re going to need that as we’re seeing if Wildstone builds out, there’s another 2,000 residents, so we need residents on
the north end and beyond to cover the costs, otherwise, again the taxpayers are on the hook because of development that is just hodge podge.”
Fact – in 15 years our population only grew by 2,232 people. Your assumption means that all the people moving here in the next 15 years will have to move to Wildstone to warrant a firehall. Isn’t a leapfrog, sprawl development on the far edge of town in a rural setting “hodge podge”?
(Note: Mayor Pratt was absent at the Public Hearing, although he spoke in favour of the amendments at the first reading.)
The option to refuse this proposed development and to propose a development more in keeping with the existing neighbourhood could have been made.
Councillors Popoff and Price already acknowledge the problems with “willy nilly” or “hodge podge” development as demonstrated by Shadow Mountain. Council has the responsibility to ensure that development takes place in an orderly, planned fashion. Why is this lesson being ignored?
The number of contradictions is concerning.
Only the proponent of the development supported the amendments in favour of their development. The approximately 30 letters made valid points against this development, plus all those who spoke at the Public Hearing, including the advice of the Planning Advisory Commission. All were dismissed by council. This is a betrayal of the public wish and also the public trust.
Elections are coming this fall, so time is running out to review council’s commitment towards orderly and responsible city development. I would hope you reconsider your decision.