Industry does not need a view
Letter to the Editor
I need to express my concerns regarding the last three Official Community Plan (OCP) meetings held at Kimberley city hall regarding the Benchlands.
The OCP for this area has gone from one 14 acre parcel to 10 one acre parcels. The zoning that has been recommended is “MIXED.” This means possibly light industrial, residential, commercial, commercial with residential on top (like our downtown core) all surrounded by the Volksmarch Trail. How is this even being considered by the Mayor and councillors as a PLAN?
This Benchland has been used for decades for various reasons. Biking, hiking, dog walking and for the view alone. I have come across numerous photographers with young families using the Rockies as the backdrop for their family portraits and wedding portraits.
The people who hike or walk on the Benchlands are people who want to be in the open space with a beautiful view surrounding them. This area is flat, easy and a comfortable walk for the elderly, people with physical disabilities and families with small children. People walk the Benchlands because they can’t hike in Kimberley’s Nature Park, the ski hill or Kimberley’s Trail Network System throughout all of Kimberley. The Benchlands is not rugged or thick with bush, so people are comfortable and feel safe walking here. Not all of the people of Kimberley want to hike in the bush because of the fear of animals, which in not as much of a concern on the Benchlands.
The last few weeks, local newspapers have had numerous articles regarding the trail networks in Kimberley and the surrounding area. As quoted by Mr. Price in the November 29 edition of the Bulletin, he states that the trail network system in Kimberley is “a critical drawing card for the new residents, tourists and events to ensure prosperity for the city, its residents and businesses.”
In my opinion, the Benchlands, which is part of the Volksmarch Trail System, deserves just as much consideration as the other trail systems in this community. This trail also requires less maintenance. We also do not need any more green space destroyed for the “possibility” of some kind of industry coming here, when there is already enough industrial land available to any new companies. Industry does NOT need a view!
I urge the Mayor and councilors to designate that “little sliver” of purple on the land use plan be changed to green to indicate parks, recreational and open spaces.