Moratorium on development will build public trust
I am disappointed in the Citizen’s coverage of the motion proposed by Councillor Justice to pause North Cowichan’s consideration of development applications during the OCP review process. While it is all very well to report people’s views, there seems to be an absence of informed perspectives.
As a land use planner in the region, I feel called upon to express support for the idea behind the motion, even if there are difficulties in the wording of the actual motion. Imagine being in a position of having to consult the public about how they want their community to develop, and what that future state of development might be. Imagine also that developers and property owners are watching closely so that they can quickly submit a development application if it looks like the growth boundary might be moved. Is it possible in such a context to build trust with the public that their input will have an effect on the future?
The purpose of Councillor Justice’s motion is in support of orderly development within North Cowichan to create walkable communities, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce risk of egregious environmental impacts, and ensure that development occurs in a way that promotes the health and well-being of all people in the community. Surely this is a matter for support and negotiation, rather than catastrophizing and confusion.