Letter: Brookswood residents fear plans

Dear Editor,

I have lived in Brookswood for more than 40 years, and have seen only subtle changes. What council is planning is really scary.

While I support preservation of the rural character, environmental protection, blended densities, etc. indicated in the revised Official Community Plan, I am not convinced that the policy goals can be accomplished with the proposed zoning.

On Feb. 3, Aecom Consultants told council that about half of the Brookswood OCP area is already developed into quarter-acre lots, and that about 55 per cent of the total area would be “generally roughly” about quarter-acre-sized lots.

Doing the math, they obviously contemplate designating very little land in the new development as “generally roughly” quarter-acre lots; “generally roughly” only about five per cent.

Also, they stated that the population of Brookswood would increase from approximately 13,000, to 42,000, an increase of about 323 per cent, all of which would have to be accommodated in the semi-rural, undeveloped half of Brookswood.

New development would have a little more than triple the density of the currently developed area of Brookswood, as opposed to “one-half the density of Willoughby,” as implied in the Aecom presentation.

I thought the presentation was disingenuous and unconvincing, and found that listening to Aecom made me feel like I was listening to the fox telling me how he would build me a fox-proof henhouse.

As a resident of one of the established neighbourhoods, I’d like to see similar-sized lots across the street from me. I’d like to see kid-friendly cul-de-sacs, rather than parking wars and institutional-style row housing.  

Hopefully, during the Neighbourhood Control Plan phase, we’ll be able to ensure that the principles envisioned in the OCP are adhered to, rather than a dogged reliance on density targets.

And hopefully, there will not be a conflict of interest in the process.

Some of council were in office when the development debacle in Willoughby went down. I earnestly hope there have been lessons learned.

Al French, Brookswood

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