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Posted: September 9, 2018

We need a designated industrial zone

Letter to the Editor

We absolutely need a designated industrial zone in the City of Cranbrook.

We have one, of sorts. It sits on the west side of Highway 3/95, which goes through the city. It currently has multiple usages, depending on….? Hmm. And usage zones seem to change. It seems a rather scattered process to me. That should stop. For example, an area in Slaterville was just taken out of industrial and zoned residential. A residential zone for modular homes above the wrecking yard was added some time ago. Just its proximity to that yard makes me think it was originally zoned industrial. I could be wrong. Residential development in this particular area needs to stop.

There are commercial enterprises in this area, too. Between Highway 95A and Theatre Road should remain mixed commercial/business including along Slater Road just as it seems to be zoned now.

The city recently purchased the old Tembec property. The vision is to encourage industry to move in. Great idea! We certainly need industry and a place for them to locate! One way to entice them is to show we have available land in a designated industrial zone. No need for them to hassle over re-zoning. Please keep it zoned industrial.

We need industry! Industry pays taxes. We need that. Industry brings employment. We need employment! Industry brings new residents; new citizens and taxpayers. We need that, too. Industry will help us grow and sustain our community and the lifestyle we all love here in Cranbrook. Surely this is one of the biggest priorities for Cranbrook.

Recently on social media, some have been suggesting a priority need for Cranbrook is to get a Costco store. Interesting priority but this is a store – a commercial venture. Indeed, it might be nice to have one but they suggest the old Tembec site.

The topic of this letter is industrial zoning. A mega-box store doesn’t belong on that site. Industry does: industries that will help the city grow. Stores don’t offer that. And while they might attract people from across the region to come shop, the fact that many shoppers aren’t city taxpayers doesn’t help us much. It might bring some spin off money if people stay in town overnight but that won’t be sufficient to help the city with housing, infrastructure, and so forth. The question is, then, is a store a priority need or is developing our economy a need?

So, let’s keep the land on the west side of town, with the boundaries I’ve pointed out. (After all, aren’t some of the streets called Industrial Roads 1, 2, 3, A, B and C?) Include Cobham Avenue. Exclude Slaterville! Leave that little heritage neighbourhood alone but not ignored.   Growth and development of industry and workers means socio-economic improvements are possible without over-burdening the taxpayer. It contributes to the tax base needed to make Cranbrook wonderful. And industries can also be good corporate citizens when strategic, collaborative planning and oversight are implemented by the city.

Melodie Hull,

Cranbrook


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