This is a copy of a letter I recently sent to Parksville city council.
After many steps, our vision of an in-fill subdivision on Pioneer Crescent was rejected by the majority of councillors on June 17, 2013.
We thought we had done everything we could possibly do to make this proposal a reality.
We had our engineer draw up the plan. The director of planning approved the idea. It was in the Official Community Plan. The engineering department needed a geotechnical report, traffic study and decided at a later date that a parking study should also be done.
The fire truck issue came up on more than one occasion and the fire department was satisfied with our studies. Each one of these steps is very costly.
The advisory planning committee liked our proposal. We thought we were on the right track.
We were advised that a public meeting be held. We were amazed that there were many people attended that didn’t live in the area.
I was even more stunned that Coun. Bill Neufeld and a group of women in the parking lot of the open house on April 25, at Shelly Centre were commenting negatively and sarcastically to me about the proposal as I approached the meeting.
They had no way of knowing that I was the property owner of 633 Pioneer Cres. I felt this behavior was not at all professional for an elected official.
Nor was I impressed that at the council meetings there was so much misinformation being blatantly thrown around for discussion.
We never proposed this was affordable housing and said so. I am not even sure if the councillors understood we, as the developer, would be supplying and installing substantial infrastructure.
We were advised there were more positive comments than negative submitted to city hall. Many in the neighbourhood liked the idea of revitalization.
Having owned the property for six years, we know this is not a “heritage” area, other that the name of the road. It is known by realtors and property managers as “the rough part of Pioneer.”
The lane behind the property is nothing more than an area for property owners to toss their garden waste. One owner on the corner of the lane was in favor of making it a proper road.
The proximity to the highway was another comment for discussion and children crossing the highway. There are children living in the area and most take the school bus that drives right past 633 Pioneer.
Another comment was about seniors living in the houses in our design. Believe it or not, not everyone wants a rancher. Some of our designs had master suites on the first floor and guest bedrooms upstairs.
One of the councillors suggested it was too far from town and not walk-able. That was a hard one to understand. It is six blocks from the grocery, pharmacy and liquor store.
Thank you to Coun. Al Greir for his common-sense statements. He seemed to be the only person to fully understand our vision. Too bad the city will not be collecting property taxes on those 12 lots.
Too bad about the loss of the development charges.
Although we feel frustrated with our experience with the City of Parksville, we will continue working with the present zoning and believe the neighbourhood will change regardless of who is on city council.