Letter: Say no to becoming Langford North

That vision spells sprawl, not smart growth

Say no to becoming Langford North

Happy New Year mayor and council:

It’s disappointing council rejected Coun. Christopher Justice’s wise Dec. 15 motion to probe potentially harmful impacts of proposed developments surrounding our new Cowichan District Hospital along Bell McKinnon Road.

I share concerns voiced by the Chemainus Business Improvement Association about how that new hospital village could impact Chemainus’ economy, and that of other valley communities.

Those views appear in the Dec. 30 Citizen newspaper.

I certainly hope our new green-leaning official community plan (draft OCP) will apply to the hospital village area to prevent ugly sprawl and massive tax hikes.

Given 6,000 homes and 12,000 people are theoretically bound for the CDH area, under its local area plan (LAP), that vision spells sprawl, not smart growth.

I oppose the type and scale of residential growth some councillors see as progress in North Cowichan.

We must not simply become Langford North.

The Bell-McKinnon LAP is just that; a plan. Council has the right to fine tune that plan, rejecting its scale if necessary for the betterment of all North Cowichan residents and taxpayers.

Council’s decisions should not focus only on appeasing profit-driven developers and folks living in the new CDH development area.

It’s tragic debate about possible impacts of this massive project was stopped by Coun. Debra Toporowski’s motion.

Why is council seemingly rushing to follow the LAP that could spell huge, unwanted consequences for all of us?

I urge mayor and council to slow this project’s progress, and use smart-growth facets of our draft OCP as they apply to our new hospital area.

Please say ‘no’ to our municipality becoming Langford North.

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan