Moratorium on development will kill communities
I am very much afraid and disappointed with the Notice of Motion re: a moratorium on development in Cowichan Valley.
I moved here from the Gulf Islands and have witnessed first hand what this kind of social engineering accomplished.
When the Islands Trust was formed they proceeded into the same kind of social engineering Mr. Justice talks about where the real thinking behind it is good development really is no development; it is the same thinking that is shown towards forestry.
The community I lived in under this type of local government went from a thriving well balanced community with a two room, three teacher school, two stores, pub, cafe, restaurant, lodge, gas station, many B&Bs and a friendly “help and tolerate your neighbour” type of community to a community where most of the young families have left; it has half the population of full time residents, over half the houses are only used on weekends and July and August, no rentals other than a few Air B&Bs. The number of people per house lived in year around is 1.8 by the Census. There is only one store left, no restaurant, and the pub strives to stay open a few hours a week during the six months of the year that is not tourist season. There is now only a one room school with one teacher that has to do magic on the numbers to stay open and finally the neighbours seem to mistrust and strive to be the last to come to the community (known as the drawbridge effect).
Every time I hear a councillor using phrases like “stop the urban sprawl”, “stop logging”, “people must live within walking distance of town”, I become very nervous and think “Lord, I don’t want to witness another community go down.”
One of the reasons we moved to the Cowichan Valley was because it has a nice rural mix of young and older people with pockets of development surrounded by Agriculture Land Reserve being farmed and with a nice little town not far away and a tolerance for each other.
A moratorium will shoot property prices up making it impossible for young working people to buy a home, especially with a little land around their home. Have the supporters thought of the number of good paying jobs in our Valley which will disappear under this ill thought out motion? Most of these job losses will be from young people with families, driving them from the Valley.
North Cowichan needs to step back from this ill conceived poorly thought out Notice of Motion. This kind of social engineering which radically changes our community plan and community land use bylaws needs to be an election issue.