———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 9:03 AM
Subject: Abbotsford Council
To: premier <premier@gov.bc.ca>, Darryl <Darryl.Plecas.MLA@leg.bc.ca>, “deJong.MLA, Mike” <Mike.deJong.MLA@leg.bc.ca>, “Gibson.MLA, Simon” <simon.gibson.mla@leg.bc.ca>, Jati.Sidhu@parl.gc.ca, Rich Coleman <rich.coleman.mla@leg.bc.ca>, Henry Braun <hbraun@abbotsford.ca>, Conflict of Interest <conflictofinterest@coibc.ca>

Dear Premier Clark:   I am appealing to you to speak to our Abbotsford Mayor and Council on my behalf, and that of my neighbourhood.  Municipal leaders have their authority at the pleasure of the Provincial government.  But when the authority of local leaders is abused, you, the senior government have the power to step in and fix things.

I’m appealing to you Darryl, because you are my MLA.

I’m appealing to you Mike, because you personally know the lay of the land, in all of Abbotsford, the Fraser Valley, and specifically my neighbourhood because you have engaged in the buying and selling of properties in my community.

I am appealing to the Conflict of Interest people because they seemed to believe that I could ask my City for answers, but that is not the way it is here.  (See Conflict letter below)

I am not appealing to you Mayor Henry Braun., because you have already, through City Manager, George Murray stated that you want no communication from me.  I am only sending this to you because, unlike you, I do not talk about people behind their backs.

This appeal to you Premiers Clark and MLAs Plecas and deJong is for you to direct our City Mayor and Councillors to answer questions about their plan of bringing the Provincial Land Use Contracts to an early end in the area of Oakridge Cr, Lombard St., Monarch Court and Crystal Court.

To date the neighbourhood has had a fair bit of interaction with City Hall but much of it verbal, and some of the answers, due to the nature of verbal communication, do not mesh with one another.

I have repeatedly asked the City to provide clear WRITTEN answers to some fundamental questions, and they refuse.

However Mayor Braun and Councillor Siemens, in particular have not been reticent to speak.  They abused the power they wield at the Council table to publicly accuse me of “spreading misinformation.”    They used the very public, aired on TV, forum of the Regular Council meeting of October 3rd, to slander me, knowing full well that I was not there.

So I asked them to WRITE exactly what it is that I have misinformed my neighbourhood about, being conscious of my lack of inside information, there is always the possibility of being in error.  But these men refused to do that.  So Richard applied to be a delegation to Council.  They refused that.   So I applied to be a delegate, to respond to their very public slander of my name.  They refused that.

It’s not that I want or need the approbation of such ‘leaders‘.  The problem is their designs on my neighbourhood.

Their process from the start has been fraught with lack of communication, error, murkiness and now silence.  We are to simply wait and hope that when the City deigns to come to us with an information meeting, all will be well.   But I have little reason to trust in men who have conducted themselves in such a shabby way.

And so I ask that you speak to them, and require them to do their jobs on our behalf, and for our good.

If the RS3 the City slid onto our properties, holds, after your LUC is removed,  then this last little bit of affordable housing will have been stolen from many of the current owners, and granted to the land-use speculators waiting in the wings.

The pattern in Abbotsford has been too clear.  Buy up the affordable housing, maybe pick up a critical mass.  Generally we’ve watched these rentals decay to slum status because the speculators are just holding them for an opportune time to ask Council for a re-zoning.  We now see whole streets being swept of affordable housing and replaced by high density, or, so-called ‘single-family‘ homes that become large structures hiding multiple illegal suites.

That is why I have challenged successive mayors and councils for many years,…..because of the growth of ILLEGAL suites, and the ILLEGAL use of agricultural lands for giant truck parks, and the growth of many illegal activities under their watchful eyes.

Illegal means dishonest, it means cheating, it means deceiving, it means stealing.  It means that Abbotsford’s growth has enriched the scoflaws while holding back the honest folk who want, and try to live by the laws that are supposed to govern all of us.

Over the years, I have had many conversations with mayors, councillor and staff at City Hall.  Everyone knows these things are true.  Some staff have even dared to whisper gratitude that people attempt to speak out against this awful uneven playing field, where cheaters prosper and our mayor and councillors let them.

But now the fight is personal.  This Council has slapped an RS3 zoning under your LUC, a zoning that expressly DENIES the very thing we are.  We are all, mobile and modulars.  RS3 forbids mobiles and modulars.  There has been no response to my repeated requests for this strange concept of ‘grandfathering‘,……a grandfather graciously allowing us to remain on the land we bought.  Legal non-conforming continuance, with some conditions??????   From Conflict email below:

I also encourage you to talk to the Abbotsford Planning Department with regard to your questions about grandfathering. Grandfathering is a term used to describe sections of the LGA that address legal, non-conforming uses. Grandfathering may allow an existing, legal use to be continued when a new land use bylaw is adopted, however there are a number of related conditions and limitations.  In your case, there may also be specific details around LUC No. 13 and the LUC termination options, so it is best to talk to the Abbotsford Planning Department directly.

What can be right about changing zoning behind the backs of the people who bought in good faith, those who pay the taxes that pay for all things City Hall?

There was no hint of such a future designation in the  original LUC covering our purchase of land designated back in 1972 as mobile on self-owned land.  If the City gives the land-use sharks the zoning they want many people will be forced to move.  And affordable housing may come to mean renting an illegal suite in a mega-house for more than the mortgage some of these folk are now paying.

If this sounds cranky, it is based on knowing that we have been governed by mayors and councils who averted their eyes and shut their ears to flagrant abuse of the by-laws that they, Council, wrote for the running of Abbotsford, the City they are elected to govern well.

So please direct them to do the job they are paid to do, on behalf of the tax-payers of Abbotsford.  Answer specific question, and do it in written form so that there can be accountability and no ambiguity for land-owners.

Thank you.

Gerda Peachey

https://gerdapeacheysviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/council-can-use-re-zoning-to-rip-your-land-away-and-gift-it-to-land-use-speculators/Dear Ms. Peachey,

Email of 10/17/16 – Thank you for your emails of September 19 and 22, 2016  to the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development regarding the termination of Land Use Contract (LUC) No. 13, Discharge Bylaw 2552-2016, (applicant – K.K. Gill).  The Minister has asked that I respond directly to your concerns about the process undertaken by the City of Abbotsford to discharge the LUC and to address the other issues you have raised.

As you may be aware, LUCs were first enabled under the Local Government Act (LGA) in the 1970s. At that time, the legislative provisions (LGA s. 546) allowed for the discharge of a LUC by bylaw with the agreement of the land owner and the local government, and that authority remains in place today.  In the case of Bylaw 2552-2016, it is my understanding that the land owner applied to have the LUC discharged from their property using this legislative provision and it was being processed accordingly. I understand that the bylaw was recently defeated.

Changes to the Local Government Act through Bill 17, 2014, provided for the termination of land use contracts in two other ways.

1)       A new requirement that all LUCs will be terminated in 2024 (LGA s. 547), and

2)       An early termination option that local governments may use (LGA s. 548).

All of the termination options require that a Zoning Bylaw be in place on the land before the termination is finalized. It is the local government’s responsibility to apply the type of zoning to the land.

I have been advised that the City of Abbotsford is interested in undertaking a comprehensive review of LUCs for the purpose of early termination under option 2 above and may be scheduling public consultation in the near future.  For further information about the City’s early termination activities, you may wish to contact the Abbotsford Planning Department directly at 604-864-5510 or planning-info@abbotsford.ca.

I also encourage you to talk to the Abbotsford Planning Department with regard to your questions about grandfathering. Grandfathering is a term used to describe sections of the LGA that address legal, non-conforming uses. Grandfathering may allow an existing, legal use to be continued when a new land use bylaw is adopted, however there are a number of related conditions and limitations.  In your case, there may also be specific details around LUC No. 13 and the LUC termination options, so it is best to talk to the Abbotsford Planning Department directly.

With regard to your concern about the length of notice periods, I wish to advise that the notice period for public hearings for the discharge of LUCs is the same as the notice period for public hearings on other types of planning and land use matters. This notice period has been in place for many years and changes are not being contemplated.

With respect to Bill 17, while it was introduced by the Honourable Suzanne Anton, Minister of Justice, different sections of the Bill were put forward by different ministers.  As noted in your email and in Hansard, it was the Honourable Coralee Oakes, as the former Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, who addressed the planning and LUC provisions.

With regard to your final point, if you have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there is a conflict of interest by a Member of the Legislative Assembly, you may apply in writing to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. The application should outline the grounds for your belief and the nature of the contravention.  Your application must be signed and can be faxed 250-356-6580 or mailed to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, First Floor, 421 Menzies Street, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4.  Further information is available on the Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner’s website.  http://www.coibc.ca/

Thank you for taking the time to write to the Minister with your concerns.

Sincerely,

Meggin Messenger

Executive Director, Intergovernmental Relations and Planning

Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

250-387-4045

Cathy LeBlanc, M. Sc. Pl., MCIP, RPP

Intergovernmental Relations and Planning

Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development

(250) 387-4049

Cathy.LeBlanc@gov.bc.ca

https://gerdapeacheysviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/council-can-use-re-zoning-to-rip-your-land-away-and-gift-it-to-land-use-speculators/

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