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LETTER – Nature sacrificed for dense housing boom

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Is reason taking a backseat to short-sightedness in our approach to development? This question applies to both governments and residents.

Recently, an opinion piece advocated for higher density as a solution to preserving green spaces. While theoretically possible, the reality on the ground tells a different story. Look at Langford and Sooke, where we witness the alarming replacement of natural landscapes with high-density housing on cramped lots, devoid of greenery and adequate parking.

This trend seems particularly concerning considering that cars and buildings are major greenhouse gas emitters, while municipalities proudly tout zero-emission goals. What are we sacrificing for denser development? Environmentally sound planning and overall quality of life, giving way to potentially overcrowded and unhealthy living conditions.

Beyond environmental concerns, rapid development brings other challenges. Imagine congested roads, overwhelmed public spaces, and stretched services like schools and clinics. Where will our oxygen come from if we pave over green spaces? Importing it isn’t an option, as countries seeking better air quality and living conditions are precisely why people immigrate here.

The provincial government’s directive to build 60,000 housing units raises concerns about a top-down approach lacking transparency and financial planning. Where is the detailed plan to support such development, ensuring adequate funding for healthcare, education, transportation, and recreation – areas already struggling to meet existing needs?

Overpopulation is a global challenge, particularly in Asia and Africa. However, replicating their struggles here through overcrowded, unhealthy living conditions isn’t the answer. We already have communities facing significant challenges, and further strain seems detrimental.

Let’s prioritize thoughtful, responsible development that balances our housing needs with environmental protection and community well-being. We deserve development that fosters a healthy, sustainable future for everyone.

Nina Leshinskaya

Sooke





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