Letter: Newbies fear change the most

Dear editor:

Isn’t democracy grand?

We elect people to public office who represent our points of view and then we (the few) hang them, metaphorically in the town square, at the first sign of a disagreement. 

Case in point: I sat through and participated in the most recent public hearing. 

The public hearing was to hear and take questions on an amendment to the Official Community Plan which would satisfy the building of a five story building.  The O.C.P. has been revised many times since 1995. 

It was amended in 2001 with additions and deletions. 

I believe the O.C.P. to be a living, fluid document. Why is this different? 

The only difference I see and I alluded to it at the public hearing is the timing but after reading into it more it’s more about perception. In chess this would be checkmate.

The area the five story building is to occupy falls into a zone called Core Commercial.

This O.C.P. policy was either ignored or misrepresented by one of the more vocal opponents of the five storey building. He bought an old house. He tore the old house down and rebuilt a single family home. This is in total contravention to the wording in the O.C.P.. 

I may lose some acquaintances from this comment but I hope Council stands by its convictions and pass this amendment. 

I will respect them and their decision more if they don’t waffle under the pressure of maybe not getting re-elected.   

History will prove that people vote on name recognition and this bunch will in fact get re- elected.  It may however be time for some fresh faces. 

The most annoying part about the comments regarding voting for or not were the squawkers and the baulkers who will never run for council. 

There were a number of comments about five stories and what it may look like from street level.  The five story seniors complex was used as a comparison; there is no comparison.  The proposed building’s footprint facing Beach Avenue does not rise fifty feet perpendicular to the sidewalk.   The articulation of the front with setbacks and balconies breaks up the building’s form and character.

What I am experiencing is the NEWBIE syndrome. I define it this way.  This does not include the repeat offenders who oppose everything.   

NEWBIES: couples or individuals  who may have visited Peachland prior to moving. They are enamored with the town and want to keep it small and quaint. They may have moved here from the lower mainland and may have buckets of money. They fear change due to what they left behind.   

Ernie Hurd


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