Parksville balance needed

Your front-page story on the former Oceana property on Jensen Avenue in Parksville has grabbed my attention.

Your front-page story (The NEWS, June 23) on the former Oceana property on Jensen Avenue in Parksville has grabbed my attention.

The shift in intention that could result in tearing down a brand new housing development to build a totally new development oriented to seniors is obviously newsworthy. But there is another element in the emerging story that merits our attention.

If your report is accurate about the intentions of the new owners, Revera, to build what they say is “… a part of our strategy to grow, innovative and lead in the senior living sector…,” the result will lead to a ghettoization of seniors in Parksville; more accurately, the ghettoization of Parksville as a place for seniors.

Picture this: on the other side of Jensen Avenue is the worthy Lion’s project for low-income seniors; across the road, the new market-based development that Revera proposes and just over its shoulder, the out-of-small-community-scale warehouse for seniors, Stanford Place.

If this private sector venture is allowed to proceed, Parksville will forever become a sterile way point on the Island, stranded between the nearly endless mall strip of North Nanaimo and Courtenay. Our chance of ever becoming a mixed culture, mixed generation, community of families, entrepreneurs, resorts and young adventurers will be forever blighted by this decaying cell in its very core.

Above all, we need to build a balanced, diverse and fun-filled community for all elements of our culture, not just a holding tank for seniors. And I am one of them.

John OlsenParksville

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