Selene and I attended city council wearing green to show our support for making Ginters a real park. We’re calling it #showyourgreen. I learn something new every time I attend a council meeting. This time, I learned that there was a heavy sadness as the parcel from 22nd Avenue at Ginters was discussed.
The neighbours spoke of the loss of the park that they visited daily and the trails that they had wandered for the last 30 years or more. The applicant Mr. Hayer of Hayer Homes spoke of his plans to densify the proposed development and council asked if it would be affordable housing.
I suggested from personal experience that a $400K unit is not affordable to a family on a single income and perhaps the applicant could consider cutting less profit to build something that families could actually afford. None of us in council chambers felt good about the proposal that Mr. Hayer had before council as yet another amendment to the official community plan was put forth.
A Tree Protection Bylaw was discussed, which could limit which trees are removed from property within city limits but (director of planning and development) Deanna Wasnik suggested that it was something that would need to come out of the (fabled) OCP review process and this application was before us now.
There is no legal way that the city can prevent the owner of this parcel from removing all the trees from the property he just scooped up to develop and it is already zoned RM1, so he can build on it just not as high as a RM5 zoning would allow.
I left feeling deflated. I was two flights of stairs down when I learned that my knitting had unravelled behind me. In my utter deflation of yet another piece of urban greenspace lost to the pocketbooks of rich developers, I had not noticed that I’d left my yarn in its yarn bowl on the floor beside me when I returned my knitting to its bag. I retraced my steps, collecting the yarn in its bowl, as the conversation about “affordable” housing continued.
Help us protect what so many of us value. Join me at the next council meeting and OCP Open House on October 17th. Wear your green. I promise I’ll leave my knitting at home.