Having filled out the OCP survey and attended the workshop on the Town Centre last Saturday, I’m concerned that city staff will take the results of the OCP review as a green light to continue business as usual.
First, the questions are not addressing the problems. For example, the preamble to one question on the review is a description of a guiding principle: The Town Centre is the heart of White Rock and Marine Drive is the soul. Question: Do you agree with this guiding principle? Of course, but the problem is that the “development” doesn’t reflect the guiding principle. My comment was, “you cut the heart out of White Rock; keep your hands off its soul.”
This is the message City Hall has to hear loud and clear.
Furthermore, at least some at City Hall still insist that because of the expense of the land in the Town Centre, towers are the only option, but towers and an OCP and bylaws that allow for more towers are the reasons land costs are so high. These same people maintain that the developers of towers will provide green space. We’ve got towers. Where is the green space?
Land value is a misnomer. We have land “costs,” which have given rise to the lack of affordability that exists throughout the Lower Mainland.
We are sucking money out of the real economy of goods and services and burying it in land. It is, if you will, buried treasure. We don’t need cranes; we need a shovel to dig up this treasure, and that shovel is an OCP and bylaws that serve the community.
It’s an OCP, Official Community Plan, not an ODP, Official Developers’ Plan. Do not take community development out of the hands of the community.
Stephen Crozier, White Rock