I’ve been a resident of the Coast for six years and for the past two years we have kept our sailboat at Smitty’s Marina. I have seen, first hand, the slow decline of Lower Gibsons. What should be a vibrant jewel is merely a dwindling collection of struggling retailers, retail spaces vacated and now occupied by service enterprises, which do nothing to add to the ambiance of the area, restaurants and a pub that are lost in the past (I can only assume that the revenue stream is so limited that even small upgrades to paint and décor are impossible) and inadequate moorage for visiting boats.
I understand why our citizens do not want a Wal-Mart or a development in the Gospel Rock area; however, development is necessary to sustainability. It must be smart development, however. I do not endorse every aspect of the proposed George development. I believe that the project is more good than bad and would bring needed and necessary stimulus to the Lower Gibsons and waterfront area — a stimulus, a beginning, a base that will foster new economic interest in the Coast, that will translate into jobs, not just service-sector jobs.
To have sustainable waterfront development does not mean embracing brand names and big boxes, but to be sustainable, we must move forward. I ask all the naysayers to this proposed development to step forward with alternatives to this particular development.
What is right for Lower Gibsons? What will improve the economics of this area? What is the answer — if not The George, then what?
Michele March, Gibsons