Letter: Rampant development trumps livability

'The strictly money minded seem to think that any one who does not jump on the sell-out bandwagon is anti development. Wrong.'

Dear Editor,

Purchasing a home is a big investment; therefore my husband and I did the research and were well aware that the Williams area was not going to remain exactly as is.

We have the opportunity to join the Money group to cash in and sell out, but since home and community improvement has been a steady labour of love for us, we will not be bullied into conformity nor scared away by future development. Exactly how that future development is going to represent our community as a whole, is something we are very concerned about and are willing to stay and fight for.

The strictly money minded seem to think that any one who does not jump on the sell-out bandwagon is anti development. Wrong.

I know my husband and I want sensible, considerate development.

It is also wrong when a family moves into an area, only to be unable to enroll their child in their neighbourhood school because of severe overcrowding. It is wrong to develop neighbourhoods where families can’t even visit each other as often because there is no room to park, in an area with pathetic transit. Or that kids trying to get to school are not provided with proper crosswalks because More development needs to happen first. It is wrong to think that the pitiful disproportionate patch of grass at Richard Bulpitt Park is satisfactory green space for the hundreds of homes around it.

I have seen kids trying to run and play, only to be constantly interrupted by what seems a never ending throng of dogs wanting to relieve themselves on the same patch of grass. Not to mention, Richard Bulpitt Elementary is still waiting for a proper playground for all the children it has to accommodate. Sure would be nice to see developer/stakeholders chip in for that.

Maybe the Money group would have better regard for these issues, if they were trying to raise a family in these neighbourhoods they helped plan. A purely profit driven mindset does not make for livable neighbourhoods.

I do not believe that people expect their community and neighbourhood plans to magically solve all of the issues. I do believe that they expect the plans to at least represent the things they care about. Contrary to what the Money group would have you believe, that is not only affordable and ‘good for now’ housing. We need well thought out plans that make truly sustainable living a priority. These plans are meant to act as a good guideline; otherwise it’s a free for all, Mad Max in the development world.

I am not claiming to have all the answers. It can be very challenging for some to uphold a sense of right and wrong in this world of big business.

What I like to remember and identify with is Aldo Leopold’s land ethic; “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

Noni Cicuto, Willoughby (Williams)

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