From: Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 4:31 AM
Subject: Odd omission of public consultation
To: newsroom <newsroom@abbynews.com>

To Andrew Holota:

Our unique neighbourhood of about 150 properties was set up in 1972, a wonderful place offering affordable housing with mobile homes on our own land.

By 2024 the Province of BC will remove all such land use contracts, so local governments will need to have alternate zoning in place by that time.

A land speculator, bought two properties, one in March of this year,  and marched to City Hall to remove the LUC.  Since this would set a precedent for all the rest of us, this was a life-altering proposal, and one that Abbotsford Council was under no obligation to take to a Public Hearing.

But they obliged K. K. Gill.  In the middle of summer vacation, when many residents are gone, Council did first and second reading on July 11/16 and agreed to take this incredibly important matter to a Public Hearing at their very nextCouncil meeting, July 25/16.

Only something really odd was happening here.  MOST of the neighbourhood did not receive any notice of this incredibly important push by a land speculator that would so radically alter our neighbourhood.  There was NO NOTICE on the subject property that K. K. Gill would rip out the mobile and build a very large house with a legal suite.  That has not been allowed here since 1972 and would have a domino effect on every aspect of our lives.

The Assessment Office agrees that large houses popping up among us will drive taxes up for the entire community.  The value of our land will rise, but to sell and relocate anywhere in the Lower Mainland, will be out of reach for most people.  After all the costs associated with selling and buying, the only option is to buy land up country, or maybe the East coast.  (Can we expect better local governance there?)

Something so huge to our lives was rammed through,…..in the heat of summer holidays, whispered with a few paltry cards in the mail,  and no sign on the front yard of the property.

That missing sign must be displayed for THREE WEEKS, before such a proposal can be put to a public hearing, but our obliging council ran rough-shod over all the rest of our community, hastening to please a speculator.  The LUC has been in place for 44 years. Mayor and Council tried to slip this through this major change to our properties, from start to finish in thirteen days.

An alert neighbour who got wind of this, demanded they stop.  He told them in no uncertain terms that what they were doing was illegal.  And so, on the day of the Hearing,…. the Oakridge Crescent item was pulled from the agenda.  But City Hall said they would not notify our community of this abrupt agenda change.

Why should they?  They hadn’t bothered to notify most of us in the first place, about their strange rush to yank the carpet from under our feet, so why bother to inform us about the Hearing’s temporary cancellation.

The sign is up now, so expect a Public Hearing about 2090 Oakridge Crescent to happen at the end of August, when our august (respected and impressive) Council reconvenes.

Gerda Peachey(Sign posted on window outside Council Chambers just before Public Hearing)

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