LETTER – Neighbourhood resident opposes rezoning proposal for Mission Road land

The development would result in housing directly under high voltage power lines

Dear editor,

Courtenay Planning Department and the city council are currently considering rezoning of a parcel of land from Light Industrial and R-1 Single Family Dwelling to R-4 Multi-Residential.

I have a very specific concern about the proposed rezoning of property at 2700 Mission Road. Currently there are 60 units of rental housing being built at 2525 Mission Road, another 94 units have received final approval for 2600 Mission Road. Now the proposal is for another 151 units at 2700 Mission Road. This is a significant change in an area that was described under the Official Community Plan for the Mission Road Area as a single-family neighbourhood when we built our home here.

RELATED: Rental housing proposed near Courtenay hospital

Of course, there are many concerns about introducing such a heavy load of density into one small area. Increased traffic, decrease in property values, noise, parking on the Mission Road, lack of following the guidelines for multiple residential areas as stipulated by the city are all concerns.

However, what I can’t understand is the willingness to situate housing for people directly under the high voltage power lines which cross the property at 2700 Mission Road. Even if you discount the legitimate concerns that have been raised about the health aspects, particularly concerning children and leukemia, think about this. We live in a very active earthquake zone. There are two high-voltage towers, one on either side of this property being proposed to house up to 500 people. If only one of those towers was to come down during an earthquake imagine the death toll. Don’t kid yourself that this can’t happen. The only thing we don’t know about the next major earthquake in our area is the when, not the if. Who would want their approval on this project when that occurs?

OrrMoniz from Vancouver is the company proposing this development. Mr. Tim Orr said in an article in this newspaper on February 2, 2020 that “about half the attendees at the OrrMoniz open house had positive comments about the project while the other half does not want change.” Two things I have to say about that. First is that only a handful of people were informed that this “open House” was taking place. Second is that the city received 22 objections to this proposal, one approval. It isn’t that we don’t want change, Mr. Orr. It is that we want responsible change.

Pat Chalmers,

Courtenay

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