Letter: Planning development is interferenc

Take urban containment, for example. That is an artificial expression of a planner’s wish

Planning development is interference

Some councillors need to go.

Hello. I’m writing in support of the basic democratic process in Cowichan. Recently, in both Duncan and North Cowichan, councils have flouted the will of the majority and proceeded with their own private agenda. North Cowichan held final public hearings on their Official Community Plan this past summer. It was the culmination of the work of hand picked committees, flawed online surveys, leading questionnaires, and an expensive consultant….to bring about a flowery template document with a subtle social agenda, rather than a natural, evolving community plan. In my estimate, 90 per cent of the meeting attendees wanted changes, amendments to the plan. But council rammed it in anyway.

Take urban containment, for example. That is an artificial expression of a planner’s wish, rather than the natural evolution of a community. Since ancient times, communities have sprung up around natural features, such as water supplies, rivers, roads, trade routes, and mutual security. Where these were lacking, communities failed. In modern times, high density tends to centre around commuter transport and business/jobs. High rise housing, for example, clusters around skytrain terminals and transit exchanges. That is a natural evolution of desirable urbanization. No artificial zoning is required. People gather for convenience. In a free society, people gather where they wish to be. That may evolve and change after COVID, which supported home offices. But that should not become a municipal regulation.

In Duncan, 600 neighbours petitioned in opposition to the homeless housing on Trunk Road. It violated their sense of security. Yet the democratic wish of these people was flouted, not once but twice, in favor of another agenda.

What I am saying is there is democracy, and there is democratic repression. In the upcoming elections, please vote for democracy. We need it. Take note of those councilors who voted to end your democratic expression, and see to it that they are not returned to council.

Bruce Matthews