I am writing in response to the letter “Uninformed Attitudes” printed March 2.
The author suggested that “urban elites” and “professional students” opposing the rezoning of lands adjacent to the Juan de Fuca trail (to allow the construction of a huge resort community) think of locals (presumably of Sooke) as “rednecks.” I am a student opposing the rezoning. I’m also from a small town and respect people from all kinds of communities.
He argued that locals understand the importance of “sustainable development.” Building over 250 cabins (and accompanying structures) in an undeveloped area would violate the Regional Growth Strategy, cause habitat destruction and fragmentation and increase carbon emissions.Describing it as “sustainable” is a stretch at best.
Undeveloped land is not useless, waiting to be exploited. Natural areas clean our air and water, act as carbon sinks and maintain biodiversity. The JDF Marine Park also provides wilderness experiences to 300,000 people per year and eco-tourism dollars to the economy. It is valued by people from all over the CRD, B.C. and the world.
The proposed cabins are not meant to be enjoyed by “locals” (if anyone can be described as a “local” of the JDF Marine Park). An employee of West Vancouver developer Ender Ilkay said that the target market would be people from Vancouver, Seattle and Calgary.
Most speakers at the CRD community information session in Sooke on March 3 were against the rezoning. The professionals, students, teachers, retirees and others (from Sooke and all over the CRD) who I have spoken to all oppose this development.
Landowners are not entitled to have properties rezoned to suit their ambitions and desires.
It is the responsibility of the CRD to act in the best interest of society and the environment. I sincerely hope they do their job.