Letter: Longtime Brookswood resident upset by Township OCP plans

Dear Editor,

I feel like Prime Minister Trudeau when I say it is with a heavy heart that I send this email.

I have lived in Brookswood since 1975, raised and schooled four children here.

I have never contributed to a councillor’s campaign fees, but I have paid a substantial amount of tax dollars, which are ever increasing, especially with the new assessment rates.

We have been working with an OCP which I believe dates unchanged from 1980. In 2014, just prior to an election, the community protested against a revision which would have resulted in considerable development, a plan that had been openly funded by developers. Sensing what could happen in an election, councillors and mayor narrowly defeated this motion.

Subsequently, the mayor and council came up with a community engagement plan, in which my family participated with good faith.

Now, after listening to six persons from the southern part of this plan, mayor and council have come up with a plan to get rid of the vocal folks from Brookswood, which leaves those in the south, a large part of whom are developers and property flippers in charge of development which will still affect those of us in Brookswood, leaving us with no say.

After considering the re-drawing of boundaries of what constitutes Brookswood and what is proposed as Fernridge, I am aghast.  I see Noel Booth School and Park are now to be Fernridge. As is Brookswood Secondary School and the Brookswood Rod and Gun Club, as well as extending Fernridge N. to 43 Ave., E. of 208.

I have no words that I can politely utter regarding this plan. I see it is an issue of divide and conquer. Fernridge and Brookswood are inextricably intertwined for everyone except the current Mayor and council. How are these people who will live in the newly developed Fernridge lands going to get there without passing through Brookswood?

Development in Fernridge affects our roads, schools, hospitals, fire protection and ambulances. Development fees never cover this totally.

I beg you to reconsider this plan at the Monday meeting of council.  I will not be attending, because at 72 years of age and a non-driver; it is a two-hour trip to get to the venue. Transit service from my community is one time per hour and the bus to the presentation centre is also one time per hour.

I have no idea if this email will help, but I have to say what I am feeling and hope some councillors will consider the Brookswood residents. Unfortunately, the next election is a long way away so those of us who wish to protect our community, the land and the habitat do not have much power.

Perhaps only developer dollars count here and those developers either do not live here or will not for long. Brookswood will be devastated.

Already, I personally am feeling the effects with at least five monster houses within a literal stone’s throw of my home, built with variances and no trees.

Thanks for listening, submitted with hope. I hope I have not just wasted the former 40 minutes of my life. I am not quick at this process, but felt it was important.

Fatidjah Nestman, Brookswood

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