The public meeting at the Black Fin on March 8 was disappointing.
In an age of PowerPoint presentations, the presentation by the architect, who was probably the decentest person in the room, lacked substance.
Those attending had probably all read the the stuff on the Howard Land Corp and MyOceanLiving websites.
These ads/commercials tell ‘potential customers’ how the prime real estate spot on our lovely estuary, which is ‘doing nothing’ i.e. is undeveloped, is only 35 minutes from Vancouver, five minutes from the airport, and that it is not far from ‘your private moorage’ to Desolation Sound.
One map has an arrow ‘to Mount Washington 35 km’, to Beaufort Winery 1km.
It seems as if subsequent councils have rolled out the red carpet for Howard Land Corp., inviting them to have their way with the natural setting (a sort of economics of extraction leading to its destruction).
I asked if the folk being attracted to this project would become ‘local citizens.’ I did not get a very convincing answer.
Anyhow I’d gone to the meeting hoping to learn what the net benefit was to Comox. There certainly appears to be the threat of a net loss in esthetics and community fun.
I wanted to find out if our citizen’s ledger balanced with regard to ‘cost’ and ‘benefit’? (Oh, the ‘creates jobs’ line was trotted out. Low-paying ‘service’ jobs!)
I wonder if models with the ‘project’ in context and to scale were withheld on purpose.
How much will folk loading their vessels on our marina be inconvenienced by (I was led to understand) four half-hour parking spots?
How much evening sun will not reach the green space in the park?
How much will Nautical Days and Snow to Surf be inconvenienced?
Surely a council with foresight would be seeking to increase our common space to allow these and other outdoor community events to become more and more amazing.
Instead, our common space is being shrivelled.
Our common view is becoming shrunk from glorious panorama to tunnelled vistas.
I wonder to what extent my property taxes will be reduced by this project.
I wonder if our taxes will increase.
I think my wondering will never cease.
But I hope that, as the mayor said, we’ll get another kick at the can during the official process after the plan is presented to the Town of Comox planning department.
Editor’s note: Howard Land Corp. has an existing development permit for a hotel/apartment complex at the site of the former Edgewater Pub.