Change of heart

Letters

I attended the three public hearings at Edward Milne Community School in, regard to the  Marine Trails Resort as did approx. another 400 people. It was an interesting exercise from those full of passion, with misinformation or little information, vengeful, haters of all developers and those with studied and reasonable questions, concerns and also with solutions.

I came there supporting the development, as I thought the developer had jumped through all the hoops and the homework was well done. For the most part, the staff had negotiated some very good initiatives and the plans looked good. Thank you for those who dug deeper. In the end, a phased agreement, leaves too much open. The phased agreement is for 10 years and can be changed by a signature of the ruling director or any of the senior planning staff, without consultation with the public, something like we have in the agreement with Prestige Hotels.

Had there have been adequate opportunity for the public to voice concerns and creatively discuss this proposal, with their APCs and positive actions taken, perhaps this would not have happened. Yes, staff are professionals, but follow rules and regulations, of which there are many. What doesn’t happen is the crossing of the t’s etc. and questioning the rules and how they impact on the surrounding properties.

I have withdrawn my support of the development and would like to be a part of positive solutions, ie: the discussion of planning our neighbourhoods to assure that we can protect and gain economic stability in our regions. The discussion of 300,000 people coming to our area and leaving little in economic benefit, is an old discussion in our house with my husband, and I was glad to hear from one gentleman, that if we purchase land we make it pay for itself, we charge visitors and we look at ways to bring economic diversity with our wild West Coast. The cost of fuel is one of the biggest deterents and we can look at creative ways to mitigate that, perhaps an electric train over the ridge, enjoying those incredible views and providing alternative transport. Ask the people, there are solutions, we just need to listen, build on all that passion and enthusiasm to create solutions, and have transparency at all levels of government.

Ellen Lewers

Sooke