More on the bench lands

Letter to Editor:

When you buy a house next to an industrial area you know what you are signing up for. It is totally different when council tries to develop it years after the fact. After countless hours and dollars spent building a yard. If this zoning proceeds I expect our house to significantly decrease in desirability to a buyer – but you can guarantee the taxes will not go down accordingly.

A report from a Council meeting suggests that letters sent to council and petitions signed do not count; rather people must attend a public hearing and state their opinions there. This is totally unfair to those who are uncomfortable speaking in public, or may not be able to attend. And out of step considering their website has a large link – Let us know what you think – contact us. Let’s hope many people are not away for their winter vacation when this public hearing happens.

We attended council meetings where the Marysville benchlands were on the agenda. Not to be discussed by the audience (heaven forbid!), but to go through another “reading“ by council. I also sent a letter to the Mayor and Council prior to one of those meetings. I received a clerical notice that the letter was received, but NO responses to any of my questions, from anyone on council. That letter, sent to council on December 06, 2017 is reprinted here.

I am wholeheartedly against this development. It is a relatively small piece of land, especially in terms of other industrial areas – but it means a lot to many people in terms of recreation.

This was a spot I could take my Dad when his health was failing, even after he needed a walker. He was much more comfortable there – in nature – rather than in the traditional developed parks.

We live at the bottom of hill below the ‘Bench’ and have neighbours above us, partly up the hill. Those neighbours would be amazed at how much of their conversations drift down to our yard. Sometimes it seems they are actually in our yard rather than their own. To suggest we would not be disturbed by the noise of an industrial area is ridiculous.

There is no doubt I would like our taxes reduced, but not by this piece of property going to industrial. This is especially so when there are SO many unanswered questions in its regard.

• Like how much will it actually cost me as a taxpayer to develop that property for industrial use, compared to how much I will gain in a reduction in taxes? The city of Kimberley does not have a good reputation for sticking to a budget with projects.

• And there seems to be the notion that ‘well, we’ve spent so much money already, we might as well carry on’.

• This is an isolated piece of property in terms of industry – why not expand the current industrial area?

• Apparently the current potential purchasers have ‘good’ intentions with regards to use and adapting to the community. Who wouldn’t make such suggestions to get what they want. What is the safeguard should this business not succeed, or the owner decide to flip the property? What guarantees do we residents have?

How much is this property proposed to be sold for – at this moment? There should be an option for a group of residents, or a community group, to develop that property as an informal park – perhaps a few benches and picnic table, but little else.

Debbie Kerr


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