It is evident from observing the election campaign and recent council meetings that at least one of our councillors is totally opposed to approving new development permits. At least until after the water crisis is solved.
This is absurd logic. Water and affordable housing are both in crisis and run independent of each other. Water supply needs to be fixed this year and approved building permits would take at least two years before any new occupants turn on their taps.
The affordable housing issue, like the water shortage, has similarly been bogged down for many years with staff and council.
We need smaller accommodation, which, in turn, becomes more affordable. Studios, one-and two-bedroom apartments, for rent or purchase. Such densification of downtown Cowrie will help local businesses survive, improve liveability and safety on the streets, as well as provide a greater vibrancy for residents and tourists alike. Cowrie is a dead zone by 8 p.m. any night of the week. Surely we can aspire to something greater than mediocrity for our town.
Property tax revenues for district coffers will also increase substantially compared with those generated from vacant lots and worn out old houses.
Sechelt property owners pay substantially more in taxes than those in West Vancouver per dollar of value. Better utilization of our land will help mitigate this.
Sechelt needs to be more receptive to new developers interested in building quality, multi-family accommodation and not create expensive and time-consuming road blocks, which cause them to take the next ferry home. Local developers have similarly been absent these past four or more years with few, if any, multi-family projects having broken ground during this time.
We need to support and encourage our new mayor and council to be creative and proactive on these issues.
Geoff White, Sechelt