Council decision a travesty of democracy in North Cowichan

Our Neighbourhood Association is requesting that you invoke your authority as mayor to reconsider the motion on the Donnay Drive Bylaw

Dear Mayor Lefebure:

Our Neighbourhood Association is hereby requesting that you invoke your authority as mayor to reconsider the motion on the Donnay Drive Bylaw 3614 application. Our reasons are as follows:

• The application has failed to achieve the support of the community, as evidenced by petitions, verbal presentations, social media posts and letters to you and to council.

• The application will be the beginning of the destruction of an iconic neighbourhood, with, at its core, the historic Quamichan Inn property. This neighbourhood is valued by not only those who live within in but also those who are nearby, and those who drive through it on a regular basis. The imminent threat of the continuation of this density of development seriously erodes our communal sense of place by introducing a form of development that is inconsistent with everything that is here.

• The application has violated at least four policies of our OCP, as a result of selective interpretations on the part of municipal planning staff. Please verify the intended interpretation with planners who authored and vetted the OCP prior to its approval.

• Your communications policy identifies a range of strategies for public participation: Inform, Consult, Involve, Collaborate and Empower. Council has done the minimum in terms of the first strategy, to inform, and has failed to consult, involve, collaborate and empower. This council, and its planning staff, has failed to communicate effectively with our neighbourhood. There has been no dialogue. We have spoken, again and again, yet there has been no effective response.

Consider this: council is about to replace the community’s vision of the neighbourhood with their own, through your vote. Is it necessary to point out the travesty of this decision? Do you believe you know more about what a neighbourhood wants than the actual residents of the neighbourhood?

Your decision represents a travesty of natural justice. We suggest council does not know more about what our neighbourhood wants than the residents themselves. Examine the record of submissions to see that we are unified in our view. Not one person without pecuniary interest in the outcome spoke in favour of this subdivision at either of the public hearings.

We are asking you, as mayor, and leader of our elected representatives, to re-examine this issue and consider the merits of the many statements made by our Neighbourhood Association. Our faith in our local government has been seriously eroded over this issue. You must act now, to undo the damage wrought by council’s flawed considerations. Restore democracy to North Cowichan.

 

Quamichan Lake

Neighbourhood Association