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Letter: No broad support for major growth area around new hospital

One Cowichan indicates an impressive 48 per cent of local respondents support Option 2

No broad support for major growth area around new hospital

Dear mayor and council:

Please accept this letter — during your Sept. 7 board meeting — as a reminder of strong community support for Option 2 (Focused Growth) explained in our recent official community plan Growth Management Survey.

I also back One Cowichan’s request for council to approve Option 2 allowing denser, compact and contained growth in North Cowichan’s smaller core areas with existing services, as consistent with previous OCP recommendations.

One Cowichan indicates an impressive 48 per cent of local respondents support Option 2.

Please note broad local support is lacking for making the Bell-McKinnon area a major growth centre around our approved new Cowichan District Hospital, despite beliefs and previous indications to property owners and developers that growth would happen there.

Instead, citizen-supported Option 2 will enable protection of our many rural and natural lands from development, help safeguard food security, and allow greater protection and regeneration of our forests and ecosystems — while supporting carbon sequestration across North Cowichan and our forest reserve.

Eco-based planning has gained council’s wise support during previous debates, including passing of our prudent environmental bylaws in the face of tragic climate-change crises.

Frankly, council’s approval of Option 2 will acknowledge the status quo of more sprawl, tree loss, and unchecked development is not smart growth for North Cowichan’s future.

Thank-you in advance.

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan

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