By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: June 23, 2012
Some say there has been a glut of consultation and studies about Mamquam Blind Channel.
Others believe there are unresolved issues that need to be debated before the dust settles on the channel.
The conflicting vision of Go, Go, Go versus Slow, Slow, Slow was on display at the council chamber past Tuesday, as the council endorsed the land use and policy statement for the Upper Mamquam Blind Channel.
But the endorsement wasn’t unanimous.
Couns. Bryan Raiser and Patricia Heintzman said nays to the motion, arguing that study didn’t address crucial issues such as transportation.
In an interview with the Reporter after the meeting, Heintzman said she felt the study lacked substance.
“The land use study is very mediocre in my opinion,” she said.
“I would love to see something happen at that site. I don’t even necessarily have a problem with some of the proposal Kingswood has suggested for that site, but I do not want to set this up for failure.”
She said the study didn’t adequately address transportation or other issues such as marine, shoreline aspect, habitat, biodiversity, recreation, aesthetics, and rehabilitation.
“A better analysis of the natural assets of the area was required,” she added.
The land use study is supposed to have included all the input given by the community in a public consultation meeting staff and a district consultant, Cityscapes, held on April 17.
It was crowded, cacophonous meeting, and one of the hotly debated topic was access to the Kingswood property.
The land use study hardly makes a reference to issue, much less making an effort at untangling the knotty issue.
Ron Goldstone, a Clark Drive resident, said the land use study doesn’t protect the values of the neighborhood, the original intention of the council.
“The study was meant to look at transportation issues first, and then determine what capacity the site could hold,” he said.
“The study was meant to be community driven, but it is the result of one poorly run meeting, and the consultant’s best guesses.”
He has an ally in former Councillor Corrine Lonsdale who has written to the council, saying the planning process has been flawed from the get go.
“It was designed to help enable the developer realize his aspirations,” she noted.
She had a fair warning for councilors: “Once zoning is in place, the developer will not be required to meet any subsequent criteria that council or the province deems necessary.”