Editor, The News:
I attended the rally against more light industrial development at Spirit Square, hosted Saturday by some South Bonson residents.
It was well done, well attended, and included in the crowd the very good turnout of four councillors.
The main issues seemed to be liveability, and postponement for two years of phases 3 and 4 of South Bonson development.
There was a lot of concern expressed about increased traffic, prompting me to reflect on how much less traffic there was in the area before any of the south Pitt Meadows developments were here, at all, including sports fields, residential communities, and commercial enterprises.
It was certainly ‘The Natural Place’ back then.
There was a hint at the rally that some South Bonson residents hope that in two years they may be able to vote in enough councillors to overturn current development plans. This is little more than a red herring. The proposed phases 3 and 4 lands, despite designation, will still need to be dealt with by whoever warms our council chairs. It’s a simple matter to protest further development and lobby to kick it down the road a couple more years. It’s another thing entirely to create a viable vision for the remaining area to ideally address everyone’s expectations, (all under Onni’s development umbrella, as things now stand).
Current obligations aside, these community wishes, plus my own, apparently include not only increased tax revenue, business opportunity, shops, living spaces, amenities, employment opportunities, food production space, untouched open fields, farm land, and public park space, but also decreased traffic, noise, and disruption to the environment.
As an aside, surely folks catch the irony of people living in the very high-density Osprey Village complex wanting to champion the cause of maintaining the rural character of the remaining nearby properties.
Anyway, we’d better order in more pizza.
At this advanced stage of the process, taking a good, hard look at the current distressed landscape down here, I strongly support ongoing timely, responsible, well-planned South Bonson development.
It is thanks to enactment of these development plans within the past 15 years or so that South Bonson residents are now part of this community.
I remain confident that our current council is listening, responding, and doing a very good job with the task. To suggest that council is not doing so is simply not sensible, as significant modifications to development plans have already been made in response to public concerns.
As for clinging to fond memories of rural, pastoral scenes down here with nothing but animals grazing in the fields, the new reality speaks, and so does a drive through the area. As soon as the Golden Ears Bridge went in, and Airport Way surfaced with its potential to be expanded to four lanes, there went the last vestiges of south Pitt Meadows rural right out the window.
Moving forward, we need to work together to enact current best practice for livable, environmentally friendly, forward-thinking development, and get on with the task.
Also, residents who move into an area without first checking the Official Community Plan, zoning, and all covenants and considerations pertinent to their property, cannot expect a quick decision reversal from council when brought up short by the reality of imminent long-planned nearby development …
If, at the end of the day, plans need to be changed based on best information and properly sourced input from all stakeholders, then so be it.