Duncan Manor plan only looked at numbers
I won’t revisit the misinformation blame game referred to by Cheryl Jones, chair of the Duncan Housing Society in her letter to the Cowichan Citizen (“Duncan Housing Society disappointed by city council’s decision on Duncan Manor ”). That train left the station when city council, in its wisdom, decided the matter for the citizens of Duncan.
It is, however, worrisome that the leadership of DHS, from the time this poorly thought out proposal was developed up to and including Cheryl Jones’s letter, has continually missed the central issue in all of this — the people and the community of Duncan. They continually failed to understand that the opposition was not to Duncan Manor but to Duncan Manor in the context of community. That is a concern.
DHS, throughout this whole process, has only seen things from a very narrow perspective. They have only ever seen numbers. The proposed exchange was always expressed in terms of land costs, metres and measurements, dollars and cents and units.
The DHS plan would in fact have selfishly come at the expense of the people of Duncan and the surrounding areas who use and enjoy the park every day.
The lawn bowling land the city would have acquired would have been for lawn bowlers only not the larger community of Duncan. The residents of Duncan would have lost park land and six storeys of open space, not to mention the green space that DHS never mentions that would have been paved over for more parking.
Council’s decision does not come “at the expense of 133 units of housing” as Cheryl Jones claims. She herself states in her letter that DHS is “committed to replacing Duncan Manor”. DHS and the city will find a place to build it. It just won’t be in the community’s premier park which serves everyone.
DHS is a part of this community. When planning they need to take into consideration what works for the community as a whole, not just numbers and what works for them.
On behalf of People For The Park