Regarding the significant Stonehurst redevelopment proposal and the delivery of municipal lands to a developer: I understand there seems to be some administrative flip flop on those who are now privileged to attend the public hearing April 25 in person, versus those who are forced to attend using yet another social media platform. Perhaps Ticketmaster could assist? A couple of respectful questions using this old-fashioned print medium to ask council and staff to fully articulate why they believe it is in “the town’s” long term interest to agree to this proposal. Because, after all, it is the Town’s best interest that should predicate a wise decision. Right?
There is an aspect of the community’s soul that will be lost in this proposed “exchange”. Besides losing the beautiful old Acacia trees on site – trees the town has sworn to protect – Stonehurst represents one of the underpinnings of our unique “Five Corners” intersection in the lower village.
Stonehurst is the crucible of the CCF. Given the fact the “developer” has no credible record, what tangible warranties will the town institute to ensure compliance with the strict requisite conditions the town would surely seek? I’ve heard there’s an implied threat of, “Give us what we want or we tear the place down”. If this is indeed a suggested negotiation tactic, it’s a weak one. Failure to negotiate in good faith could default to current zoning. Or perhaps that is not a sufficient return on investment to accept? Rezoning is a privilege, not a right. Benefits must accrue to all parties. I’m still waiting to read why such a “deal” benefits our community, which ultimately loses a part of its essence. The concept of this residential development contributing in a positive fiscal way – especially after receiving a priceless and irreplaceable gift of municipal land – is what I’d like to better understand. Our community deserves a solidly written rationale. Finally, given this property is the birthplace of the current New “Democratic” Party of BC, surely the mayor – and council – can see development of this property deserves to be undertaken under the principles of its founders.
Barry J. Janyk (Mayor 1999-2011)