Letter: Big picture lacking in Brookswood plan

Council can choose to stop development in development until a new plan is in place, writes Michelle Connerty.

Dear Editor,

I am a resident of the Brookswood neighbourhood. I have lived here for five years with my husband (who is a realtor) and my three children.

Two of our children are going to Uplands Elementary currently (Montessori Choice Program) and next year will move to Noel Booth (Neighbourhood and Late French Immersion Programs) and the third is in Brookswood Secondary in the French Immersion Program.

We moved here from New Westminster and specifically here because we loved the communities and neighbourhoods in this area. I am not afraid or against development of this area. I am a realistic, intelligent human being. I was born and raised in the Lower Mainland – I love it here and understand why it is so desired.

I am so disappointed with our Township council, carrying on the sham of a public consultation for a new or revised Official Community Plan (OCP).

Then to pass development applications based on the 1987 OCP is reckless endangerment of our environment, specifically our aquifer (water), our trees (over 8,000 trees will be lost with the three development applications before council), our wildlife and our community.

This is Spot Zoning for profit, clear and simple.

No matter how palatable the beautiful subdivisions are – there is no ‘big picture’ plan.

In fact, some of the subdivisions before council don’t have entry or exit roads without the adjoining properties also being developed. The council is wasting thousands of taxpayers dollars and hours upon hours of mine and other’s time on the Modus plan to ‘engage’ the public and help form a new OCP that they have no intention of waiting for.

I want to know how many taxpayer dollars have been spent and will be spent with Modus doing these open houses, focus groups and advertising. How much money are we wasting?

I believe that Brookswood is a diamond in the rough and that great and beautiful community that would be envied all over the world could be created and built here.

A community that would include Senior’s housing, a hospice, community rural day care for children, seniors and special needs people, co-op housing, townhouses for those that want/need low maintenance, single family, multi-family, integrated – all together with farming including small groups of greenhouses for year-round community farming, community grocery and other shopping needs stores rather than corporate, jobs for our neighbours and children, a food bank, a used clothing and goods store to encourage recycling, lakes to walk around, bike paths, medical and dental clinics, wellness centres. Meeting places so that if you are lonely there’s someone to share a tea or a game of cards with. A movie theatre, a bowling alley, an outdoor arts centre, restaurants, markets, and of course, a decadent pastry shop that only uses butter…

This all takes planning and a lot of it, not hidden “there’s a plan that will become clear one day planning” but real transparent, honest planning, slow and step by step.

You know what the best part of this is? We can choose to do this. We do have choices – council can choose to stop development until a new plan is in place.

Property values of the regular non-subsidized lots and houses will sky rocket beyond anyone’s dreams and other communities will use us for a model, because really who wouldn’t want to live in this community that I’ve created in my mind?

Michelle Connerty, Brookswood


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