Letters to the Editor

Help us care for our community

A sketch of the proposed redevelopment of the Evergreen Baptist Campus of Care (centre) beside the Belaire (left). - Developer
A sketch of the proposed redevelopment of the Evergreen Baptist Campus of Care (centre) beside the Belaire (left).
— image credit: Developer's sketch

Editor:

Re: Architect fears loss of beds, Jan. 9; More to lose than care beds, Jan. 21 letters.

Much has been written about the planned reinvestment into the Evergreen Baptist care complex – which will see a much-needed eight-storey care facility to replace an outdated complex – and the opposition put forward by a few residents of the adjacent 13-storey Belaire.

The Evergreen proposal reflects quality design, fits nicely within the context of that neighbourhood, and will make White Rock a much better place to be.

That these few neighbours oppose it because it is a “mega-building… squeezed” onto a small site, because it displaces some trees and might cause parking problems during construction, and because it impacts their views, seems to be a stretch of the imagination.

The Evergreen proposal has less density and height than the Belaire. There will be trees displaced, some of which seem unhealthy and others that are just not that significant. None of the magnificent trees will be affected and there will be new plantings added.

People do not own their views, but good development does its best to minimize impact. The Evergreen proposal seems very sympathetic to the views of its neighbours.

Traffic problems will always arise when important development happens, but they are problems of the short run that can be managed. What is important here is what White Rock will get in the long run – 199 new modern units in a well-designed and operated complex that will for decades serve people dealing with the effects of aging.

Dale Mumford, White Rock

• • •

Care is what Evergreen Baptist home is all about.

Having to live apart is something you think will never happen to you, even after 64 years together. Less than a year ago, I would never have believed that my husband and I would be happy each living in separate homes.

We were so fortunate that when we needed help, my husband was placed at Evergreen. There is care in everything they do – of residents, their families, nutritious meals, entertainment and planning renovations in such a way that there will be as little interruption as possible.

These additional care beds are so badly needed, especially since the existing facility, built in the 1960s, has limited wheelchair access.

Everyone should think very carefully before trying to stop construction of badly needed beds in this area; it could be you or your loved one needing one someday.

Blanche Breaks, White Rock

• • •

As executive director of Evergreen Baptist Campus of Care in White Rock, I feel compelled to write in response to recent negative commentary regarding the proposed redevelopment of our campus.

Evergreen Baptist – a registered non-profit society and a pillar of this community since 1962 – has an urgent need to replace a building that is well past the end of its lifespan. The 199-bed facility we are proposing will both replace 107 old beds, and add 92 new beds to our campus in one eight-storey state-of-the-art care home, designed to the highest standards for complex-care residents.

The community urgently needs these new beds. In fact, Fraser Health believes White Rock needs as many as 200 new beds by 2020 alone just to meet minimum demand.

Our proposal allows us to maintain our care home while our new building is under construction. Some would prefer to see us close down our current care home entirely and build on the footprint of our existing buildings.

While this sounds good, the result of this would be the need to relocate 107 frail seniors throughout various care homes across Fraser Health, removing them from their community, their family and their friends. This would be a devastating outcome for those individuals.

The other outcome would be that Evergreen would have to lay off the approximately 200 staff – a devastating outcome for them and their families.

Nearby neighbours are concerned with loss of views, and the possibility property values will decline. In fact, Evergreen has demonstrated the views of our closest neighbours are more impacted by the stand of Douglas Fir trees that sit between our property and theirs. Growing at a rate of one to three feet per year, some of these trees are already taller than our proposed building.

We ask our community and the City of White Rock to take a long-term view and support us in our efforts to build a care home that will serve seniors in this community for decades to come.

Stephen Bennett, Evergreen Baptist Campus of Care

 

 

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