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LETTER: Densification rules shock Pitt Meadows resident

Legislation lacked consultation with public and local governments, letter writer says
New provincial rules allow for multi-plexes on single family lots with no public hearing. (The News files)

Dear Editor,

[Re: Thousands of lots could have fourplexes, The News, May 24]

I appreciated and am very thankful of your story coverage of our province’s new housing mandate. “Thousands of lots could have fourplexes.”

As a long-time resident of Pitt Meadows, it is very troubling of what seems to have been quietly passed with little or no consultation with the thousands of stakeholders throughout our province.

The newspaper article brings out many of the concerns every town, city and municipality are now dealing with. I hope Black Press Media continues to report on this subject. It needs to be in the spotlight.

A few additional thoughts:

• The City of Pitt Meadows website has very good information about this new legislation, and all the provincial government mandates.

• At the most recent council meeting Tuesday May 14 council and city staff did a remarkable job of presenting the legislated facts, and how the city is grappling with this far-reaching legislation.

• All towns, cities are now pre-zoned without no means to dispute the province’s new OCP maps. The maps the province has issued for our city are daunting – a complete change to what our city has planned and put in place over the years. Neighbourhoods will be in constant change and disarray.

• Public hearings are prohibited on all matters related to this new legislation. City staff and mayor made it very clear of the “legally bound mandate” from the province that prohibits citizens of even asking for a public hearing about the legislation.

• If a town, city wishes to say “no” to the province’s Small-scale Multi-unit Housing and Transit-oriented Areas new guidelines, it is clear that the province will give 90 days after June 30, 2024, for the city to comply, and after this date, the province may appoint an outside body to enact this legislation within the dissenting town or city.

• The “No required on-site parking” requirements for the new six-unit houses on a single lot cannot be disputed by council nor their building department.

• No consideration has been mentioned in the legislation for more schools, more green spaces.

• No consideration has been mentioned for ways to offset the staggering cost for towns and cities to upgrade their existing services to meet the demands of additional housing.

I am not against “densification.” Yes, we need to have ways to provide more affordable housing, and a greater quantity of such. But, I am against the heavy-handed manner in which our current provincial government has placed this new binding legislation into the laps of every region of our fine province and said “Get on with it!”

It appears there was no consultation with the taxpayers and civic governments throughout the province.

Please stay on top of this. You are the voice.

Bob Wray, Pitt Meadows


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