Mayor Fred Haynes and his council appear to have little or no regard for the wishes of their constituents. I have been a constituent for over 25 years and I find myself driven to publicly voice my disappointment in local government.
Council recently approved rezoning and other variances to allow the construction of a massive, high-density, 11-storey building on Elk Lake Drive, known as the Doral Forest Park. They did so in direct contradiction to the local area plan and a covenant from 1996 allowing structures with a maximum of four storeys on that site.
Council was elected with promises to ensure development would be thoughtful and respect and enhance the characteristics of neighborhoods. They have forgotten those promises in approving this development. This is a neighborhood based upon single-family homes, townhouses, and a few condominium buildings with a maximum height of four storeys.
The intended building adjacent to the entrance to Elk Lake/Beaver Lake Regional Park will be a high density, 11-storey building with 242 units. The Ministry of Transportation (MoTI) did a study of the impact of such a building on the traffic of this neighborhood and recommended strongly against allowing it due to the negative impact on traffic in the area. Council also decided to vote in contradiction of this recommendation.
This has always been a neighborhood of family homes and small intimate developments. This has been a green, forested neighborhood with mature trees with the lakes and park a big part of the ambiance.
I recognize that the city, indeed the entire Island, has a need for more housing. The issue is whether this massive high-density building is appropriate in this location. The property was zoned for townhouses and a four-storey building which would have been completely in accordance with the local area plan and the characteristics of our community.
I am deeply disappointed in council. They appear to have no regard for the residents they purport to represent. They seem focused on pleasing developers and the potential income to the city.
Shame on them.