Jobs for families trump lives of attractive trees

Development in Sidney would create jobs for young families

Re: Trees mean a lot to columnist (Over the Garden Fence, Nov. 25) and Sidney says trees’ demise a done deal (News, Dec. 2)

I feel compelled to answer Helen Lang. She has asked for help and support should she chain herself to a row of trees on Fifth Street. She also suggests she might be being selfish. Let’s consider her request.

She doesn’t own the land, or the trees. The owners wish to cash in their years of savings and paying down a mortgage and sell to a local builder who wishes to build four townhouses. The amount of money the local owner will receive from the sale will be more than if there was no redevelopment potential, and so presumably this local owner’s life will be made a little easier. But Ms. Lang’s sense of esthetics is being impinged upon.

The house on the lot is old and tired. The new townhouses have been designed by a local architect and will have a landscaping plan to ensure they visually enhance the street. If projects like this don’t occur, the architect will not be able to support himself.

The project will employ a handful of young people during a recession. Probably most of them have families. But, Ms. Lang doesn’t care because her sense of esthetics is far more important than jobs for young people with children, not to mention the builder who has a young family man as his project manager and also employs his daughter, who has two small children.

Think of the number of people who are dependent upon just such projects happening. Should we support Ms. Lang because her sense of esthetics is the most important factor in all of this?

Since you raised the subject, yes Ms. Lang, you are being selfish. Somehow in our society one person’s idle wants can be given equal weight with a whole raft of other people’s real needs. I don’t know how or why we have let this happen.

Steven Cox

North Saanich

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