Letter: Planning team isn’t community minded

A minor update to the Brookswood-Fernridge OCP and the  Brookswood-Fernridge community planning team.

Sadly, it comes as no surprise to most of us, that the composition of the recently formed public input group “chosen behind closed doors” includes only three members of the Leave Brookswood Alone! Facebook and community group.

This group spearheaded local opposition to the then, new OCP, and forced council in March 2014 to not approve that proposed OCP as it was obviously brutally laden with unwanted high density.

Many prominent members of LBA (which I was a big part of in steering its direction, and occasional media go-to spokesperson) remain adamant on the importance of environmental and other values as essential to planning a healthy community.

Why would a new community planning team consisting of 14 other people who chose not to be a part of that group (or weren’t allowed into that group) be picked?

In January 2016, Council opted (in response to developer pressure?) to start a process for a “minor update” to be based in large part on previously collected, developer-skewed input.

Now council has resurrected this work, and is going to add to it input from these 17 people selected behind closed doors. This infuriates many of my neighbours and me.

Further, and despite other protests, Council decided to pick people who don’t even live in the area in question.

Why would people who do not live in our community be given voices on the future health and viability of our community?

One member is someone who wanted to build a massive daycare at the corner of 42nd Avenue and 204th Street, in the middle of a residential area.

This was shut down due to public protest, and the land sold off quickly thereafter.

Why is this particular person now best suited to represent local parents?

Four of the members clearly own land in an area that will definitely benefit by a “minor” update that will ensure their ability to sell or develop higher density properties.

I think we already know what these people want and will vote for.

Council clearly wanted people who own businesses in the area to be a part of this. Of course, the majority of us thought it would be storefronts like a ‘mom and pop’ restaurant or a small clothing store that is open to the public and/or employs perhaps some of the local people’s children in the area.

We didn’t know they meant people who have a personal office in their home.

Oh what a tangled web.

I have to ask about this behind-closed-door-selected community planning team.

First off, the “community” had no say in the selection, secondly what was the criteria?

Who, and how, was this team picked?

I live in the community, I am a part owner in a local business that employs people from this area, and we are open to the public.

I helped steer head the Leave Brookswood Alone committee to what we believed was a victory over the defeated OCP of 2014.

I applied for a position on this planning team to help be a voice again for this community that I first moved to in 1983.

Did I get to be on “Jack’s Planning Team?”

No, and why you ask?

Because I care about the people I have to live with.

I care about the customers we serve.

I care about the environment, and the wildlife that surrounds this uncrowded, beautiful place we in the Brookswood-Fernridge area call home.

Let the developers drive nice Toyota’s, not Bentley’s (mic drop now).

 

Scott Thompson, Brookswood

 

 

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