Municipalities must be able to change course on development at any time
I was truly disheartened reading today’s issue of the Citizen. The overdevelopment in our Valley, and the loss of control of our own community land base should disturb us all.
How are we still at a stage in history in which the interests of a development company — one company — can trump the needs and wishes of countless citizens? We need to advocate for change. Large-scale projects continue to be approved in our community without those in decision-making positions having awareness of the full scope of project implications. When these implications become apparent, the community finds itself powerless: after a land use has been permitted, our municipality and our citizens have no recourse to adjust, change or revise an in-progress project.
The mammoth Kingsview development, with its incessant noise production, absolutely unreasonable in scale in a time of climate crisis, and a completely untenable economic fit in a community dealing with a dire shortage of affordable housing is just one example.
Businesses make decisions, evaluate results, and adjust and change course on a regular basis. Any reasonable individual does this numerous times throughout one’s life. If municipalities are expected to manage growth responsibly, they must be vested with the power to continuously gauge and evaluate the appropriateness of a project once its full implications become apparent. Cowichan Valley residents need to have a means, via our own voice and through the work of our elected representatives, to control what happens in our community — both before a project is approved, and after, once its myriad ramifications have come to light.