I am writing in response to the article First Street condo units approved, in the Friday, March 27 issue of the Peninsula News Review.
I live in First Place Estates immediately to the south of the proposed development. In none of the communications that I have had with those living in our development and in that to the immediate north of the proposed development, did I hear any objections to putting eight units on the now-empty lot. I did not run across anyone who was opposed to development.
The two main reasons for objection in this case were the increased density, and the repercussions of that, and the nature of the architecture of the planned building,
Councillor Fallott reportedly said the objections were “just in the neighbourhood.” That is not surprising. What other residents of Sidney would be motivated to object to such a local project?
Don’t we, as taxpaying citizens of Sidney, have a right to protect the ambiance and character of our neighbourhoods? Or are we expected to bow to the actions of our elected officials assuming that they know what is best for us?
Fallott was also cited as stating that objections were just “voices in the neighbourhood” and “not about the project itself.” Such a statement says to me that she thinks the objectors are merely interested in their own concerns and have no appreciation or concern for the Town’s overall needs, or, to quote Mayor Price, “what the OCP asks for.” The tenor of her comments seems to imply that it is invalid to object to a development on the grounds that it detracts from one’s neighbourhood.
In this regard, I wonder who initiated the “NIMBY” term in the article. Generally, in our society, that expression has taken on a very negative connotation but it is just not the case here when it comes to development. To conclude that those dissenting citizens were not opposed to development in general, “just the one next door” is completely uncalled for, especially when two of such residents were singled out as examples.
Council members have expressed a desire for input from the residents of Sidney, ostensibly to get an idea of how changes proposed by the Town will impact them. In this case they got that feedback, not just from a few, but many citizens in the immediate neighbourhood. It appears that four of the members of council chose to disregard such strong input and perhaps even dismissed it by invoking the NIMBY concept.
It appears to me that we MAY have been listened to by them, but were not really heard. To ignore, or worse still, discount public input by maintaining that any objections heard are merely NIMBY, and that we have little or no regard for the Town’s needs, is unacceptable from our elected representatives.
John Bardsley, Sidney