By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: May 15, 2014
Published: May 15, 2014
More than 100 people from the Smoke Bluffs neighbourhood submitted a letter to the district, urging it to reject the large-scale development proposed along the Upper Mamquam Blind Channel.
The residents said they are concerned the Kingswood project – which would include 425 multi-unit dwellings – would “impact our neighbourhood, quality of life, property values, traffic, trail networks, and wildlife.”
Kingswood has applied to rezone the property.
“The Kingswood development is an ill conceived proposal that should be rejected by district officials,” said neighbourhood resident Marion von Dehn, who coordinated the signature gathering for the letter.
These were some of the concerns the residents expressed in their letter.
Impacts to trails from a proposed Behrner Drive extension.
Hunter trail is an important wildlife corridor and is also used by locals for hiking and dog walking. Constructing a road there would go against the District’s commitment to providing trails to the community.
Cost and impacts of a Clarke Drive upgrade.
Kingswood is undertaking an assessment for upgrading Clarke Drive for increased traffic use. In their letter, residents asked the district who would pay for such an upgrade and what impacts road construction would have on adjacent private properties.
Increased traffic, road instability.
Traffic from Kingswood would be funneled into Hospital Hill, a neighbourhood that includes an eldercare centre, hospital, school, and fire station. Kingswood has projected traffic from its development at rush hour would add four cars per minute to Clarke and Behrner Drives. The increased traffic would bottleneck at the 99 light, an intersection that lacks an acceleration lane for merging onto the highway. Added traffic could increase accidents.
Lack of public participation.
In their letter the residents said they had become increasingly frustrated with a lack of outreach by District officials and the developer.
Impacts to wildlife, birds.
Kingswood has not mapped bear, coyote, bobcat, or cougar movements through the area. In addition, Kingswood has not analyzed the risk of human/wildlife interactions as a result of building a development that would house up to 1,000 new tenants. Introducing so many people could increase human/wildlife conflicts.