Despite the odds, Gibsons retains a small town rural character, which makes it an attractive place to live and visit. It is a place where, for the most part, many enjoy an exceptional quality of life.
I would like to suggest that in building our town, we look for projects that strengthen social cohesion by keeping commercial development in scale, size and scope with what makes Gibsons such a desirable place to live.
Let’s build a town that does not polarize us, but rather is created in the inclusive and participatory manner set out by our official community plan — a town we can all celebrate and be proud of. It would be far preferable in the long run to live and grow in a town designed around community solidarity, which can then prosper on its social capital.
The divisive nature of the George Hotel development threatens to weaken our community’s collective trust because it does not respect our OCP. Enforcing height restrictions and protecting our water need not be done at the expense of the business community.
Small towns the world over are facing development pressure, but with imagination and collective will, I am confident that we can find creative solutions which will not divide us as a community, but rather enable us to thrive both economically and socially by finding the balance between the need for commercial enterprises that serve and promote community and tourism while maintaining the qualities and features that make our town such a unique and wonderful place.
Are these not the very qualities that attracted so many of us here in the first place? Preserving our town’s assets and character should be integral to our OCP.