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Letter: Objection to downzoning of the property at 9090 Trans Canada Hwy.

Canada is moving backwards, not forward when it comes to quality of life.

Objection to downzoning of the property at 9090 Trans Canada Hwy.

Dear mayor and council:

Canada is moving backwards, not forward when it comes to quality of life. The cost of living, especially housing is completely out of alignment with wages. And the only people to blame for this is the government, at all three levels.

Affordability generally refers to housing (rental or ownership) that costs no more than 30 per cent of before-tax household income. A Regional Housing Needs Assessment conducted in 2014 found that the Cowichan Valley Regional District has a significant need for housing for youth, low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities.

• About 22 per cent of all households in North Cowichan are rental units

• The average renter household income in North Cowichan is $25,115

• 58 per cent of renter households in North Cowichan spend more than 30 per cent of their income on rent (52 per cent in the CVRD)

• North Cowichan’s rental affordability is ranked as “severe”

• North Cowichan’s rental affordability is ranked as 474 out of 521 municipalities across Canada

Source: North Cowichan Website

This council, instigated by Councillor C. Justice, attempted to invoke a ‘moratorium’ against the Properties Development without adequate knowledge, readily available, that there is a binding legal agreement between MNC and the developer.

“North Cowichan has some approved development in the form of Comprehensive Development (CD) plan areas (with approved zoning and phased development agreements) as well as other lands already zoned for additional density within the Urban Containment Boundary”. (North Cowichan OCP Update)

Mr. Justice’s action nearly caused an action by the developer who had their legal counsel write to the MNC a strong cautionary letter. The motion was dropped.

Now Councillor R. Douglas is acting just as capriciously.

My understanding is the property was sold recently, but not before the prospective buyer did all his homework prior to committing to the purchase, including verifying suitable zoning. Title indicated R5 zoning. The sale went ahead and the new owner now followed the municipal rules preparing his development application. This was delivered to MNC planning along with a cheque for fees, which has been cashed. As the cheque was cashed, it arguably means his application is in process which preceded any motion by council yet to be tabled. Council may be unwise to proceed with its fickle motion; there could be reasonable grounds for legal challenge.

I abhor such impetuous behavior. Remember your professed angst about affordability. Dismiss the motion.

Christopher Carruthers

Julia Carruthers

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