Letter: Atrocious Brookswood-Fernridge process needs fixing

Dear Editor,

How did things get to the point where Brookswood residents are literally pleading to a handful of mostly out-of-town developers masquerading as the Griffith Neighbourhood Advisory Board (GNA)? I did a little research, and the deeper I dug, the more worms I found.

How can GNA spokesman Cameron Gair objectively look out for the best interest of the community when, an active licensed realtor, he is legally required to provide undivided loyalty to his clients?

Since he took his position with the GNA, Mr. Gair has sold multi-acre, multi-million-dollar properties, many of them on 32nd Avenue and 202nd Street, where the densities in the original Brookswood plan called for large, single-family lots with four units per acre, and now is being considered for increase to up to 22 units per acre.

But Mr. Gair and the GNA are only looking out for their self-interests. And we need to look out for our self-interests.

In 2011 the GNA asked for a start to the development planning process in Brookswood, to which the council and Township responded that they do not have enough funds to hire additional planning staff. So the GNA said it would pay for it.

That amounted to $500,000 split between 10 property owners – a loan, really, as the  money will be paid back to them through levies and taxes when development occurs.

The Township can raise taxes for many things, but not for something that has the potential to destruct a community and the people who have worked so hard to make it was it is.

The Township could have gone to the residents of 5,000 homes and asked them each to pay $100, to be refunded down the road. That would have kept this process objective, neutral, and free from outside influence.

Oh wait, they did not do that, because the residents had no idea in 2011 that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Township and the GNA – it was done in relative secrecy, as no public notices were mailed out.

And frankly, the rest of the planning process has been atrocious. The final plan ended up with the most density, townhomes, and apartments, although the previous report from AECOM (planning consultant) indicated that the majority of the public either wanted less density or just single-family lots.

Personally, I am in favour of single-family development that maintains the existing character of the neighbourhood, however I realize many people have differing opinions, and I respect that their voices should be heard, too.

As many of the developers said at the public hearing, change is inevitable, and I move that we change this process: hand back the developers their $500,000 of yes-man money, restart this process so it is neutral, objective, and fair, and ask taxpayers if they would give this money to the Township under the same terms as the GNA, by which it would be paid back when development occurs.

Under these terms, the GNA can still provide input, but as regular citizens and property owners, just like the rest of us.

In a democracy, I still believe, it is one vote per person, so someone please tell the mayor and council that.

James Macdonald, Brookswood

Just Posted

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

South Langley centre offers seniors an array of activities

Members decide which courses and activities are offered at the Brookswood Seniors Centre.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

Most Read