What is the price of progress in the Comox Valley?

Dear editor,

So whatever gave a developer the idea he could come into the Comox Valley and start building "hanging garden" condos?

Dear editor,

So whatever gave a developer the idea he could come into the Comox Valley and start building “hanging garden” condos?

It wasn’t part of the area’s community plan. Did the developer not look at the community plan or did the developer think they could change the mind of the politicians and citizens?

Fortunately no one was swayed by the developer’s plans.

Developers are in it for the money. Not for the common good, not to improve the environment, not to provide jobs, or increase the tax base. They are in the business of making money for themselves and their investors.

What is happening with the “hanging gardens” is likely to happen again and again.

Developers are an enterprising group. They are a hopeful group. They don’t give up easily.

Nothing wrong with that, but developers should not expect the communities around their developments to pay part of the costs or have their communities rearranged so they, the developers, can make a profit.

These costs take many forms. Policing, fire departments, ambulance services, medical services, social services, hospital services, etc.

Whenever we have developers proposing these new, improved large developments does anyone ever contact the local RCMP detachment to see how this fits in with their workload? Several hundred new citizens will increase the crime rate.

The ambulance service is operating at capacity most of the time. How about adding a few hundred aging baby boomers to the mix?

Can the hospital accommodate more people coming in with heart attacks and cancers? We know we have a doctor shortage in the Valley. How will that be helped by an additional couple of hundred people?

There is the issue of the fire departments. The municipal governments rely on volunteers.

Comox has seen an increase in additional homes. There is a new office building sitting at the bottom of Church Street.

A new subdivision with houses and condos has been built behind Quality Foods, and there is speculation there will be a small hotel and more than a few condos, where the Edgewater once stood.

The fire department in Comox has remained the same. There is a full-time fire chief and several assistant fire chiefs.

The firefighters are volunteers. These volunteers are highly trained and just as skilled as any firefighter in a major centre.

The problem is there aren’t enough of them and none of them are at the fire station. That is not to say their response time isn’t adequate, because it is excellent.

The concern is with the expanding population, the addition of several three- and four-storey apartment buildings, a seniors’ housing complex, densification at Noel and Torrence.

What happens if there is more than one fire? We may be able rely on the Courtenay fire department, but they may also have problems at the same time.

They will be having a hospital move into their area, there are new subdivisions going up in Courtenay, their city boundaries have expanded in the past 10 years, etc.

The “hanging gardens” of Harbour View Landing were proposed to be five and six storeys high.

Did Harbour View Landing even check with the Courtenay Fire department to see if they have fire trucks with “ladders” that reach to that height?

My suggestion is that the various civic governments have a  good look at their firefighting capacity prior to approving any more building in the Valley.

None of this will really matters, though, if we do not improve our water delivery system in the Valley.

The pipes are getting older. The demand on them greater. Our source of water is not expanding.

Then we have the Stotan Falls developer. He’d like to add 600 homes to the Comox Valley. The developer would certainly make a nice chunk of change.

The taxpayers and politicians of the Valley would be left to figure out how they will pay for the additional staff required by police, paramedics, doctors, health-care workers, firefighters, community centres, etc.

All of these developers have decided how they want to make money.

We as citizens have made decisions regarding how we want to live. We don’t need to trade our environment or principles on the alter of profits for developers.

E.A.  Foster,

Comox

 

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