———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 5:08 PM
Subject: Fwd: Letter to neighbourhood, Oct. 27/17
To: Henry Braun <hbraun@abbotsford.ca>, mgill <Mgill@abbotsford.ca>, lbarkman <Lbarkman@abbotsford.ca>, pross <Pross@abbotsford.ca>, Brenda Falk <bfalk@abbotsford.ca>, “Dave Loewen (Councillor)” <dfloewen@abbotsford.ca>, Kelly Chahal <kchahal@abbotsford.ca>, Ross Siemens <rsiemens@abbotsford.ca>, Sandy Blue <sblue@abbotsford.ca>, George Murray <gmurray@abbotsford.ca>, Nick Crosman <ncrosman@abbotsford.ca>, Darren Braun <dbraun@abbotsford.ca>, “Ian MacDonald, APD” <imacdonald@abbypd.ca>

This morning Dave Loewen wrote: “As long as I’ve been on Council, the process has not changed. I recall out-of-Towners commenting on the Slots; on the Tower at Mill Lake; on the West Abbotsford Ag Land issue; on any rezoning application, everyone has been entitled to comment. So to follow your preference on this, would be to make a first exception to this procedure.”


But he is wrong. 


The card you, City Hall sent us reads:  “Council directed staff to consult with residents of Land Use Contracts 13,42,49, and 125 regarding the underlying zoning of the neighbourhood.”  


“This consultation is being held to determine the type of housing the residents of the neighbourhood would prefer, given the eventual expiration of Land Use Contracts in 2024.” 


Yet Darren Braun told our neighbour the everyone who comes through the door, and signs in on November 1st will be offered a sticker to put on a board with three options, sticking it to their preferred option.  Further everyone who signs in will be offered a comment sheet to fill in, about OUR neighbourhood.  Upon deeper questioning, Darren Braun said an owner could bring a kaboodle [my word] of friends and relatives, and they would ALL be given stickers and comment sheets.  And staff will [make] their advice to Council based on ALL those stickers and comments.  The comments will not be posted for public viewing.


What is going on at City Hall?  As you see I’m sending this to the Police department as well.  Given they operate under the mayor, I hold out little hope of independent investigation.  But when our homes are under attack by the greed of speculators, enabled by my mayor and council, you Chief Rich should be investigating.  There are millions to be made and it’s long past time for you to look at illegal activity in Abbotsford.

Hello neighbours, from Gerda Peachey (2044 Oakridge Crescent; 604-852-4650; gerdapeachey@gmail.com)

The City is proposing three options regarding our neighbourhood. We’ll be having our say on Weds., Nov. 1 (6:00 to 8:00 pm) at Abbotsford Traditional School. Getting rid of that underlying RS3 zoning is key. That zoning will not permit you to replace, restore or rebuild your mobile/modular in the event that 75% of it is damaged.

The odious compliance/non-compliance concept embedded in RS3 zoning will render our home insurance useless. If you’re barred from bringing in a new mobile home, you can only get a few bucks insurance payout for the home you once loved, and now you must sell the land, unless you can afford to build a new stick house. (That would certainly count Rich and me out!)

And so, your Mayor and Council will have effectively forced you off the land that you bought in good faith. And why would your Council want to do such a thing to ordinary folk who work and pay taxes that support them, and city hall? What is this driving need to rezone us so many years before the provincial sunset on LUCs in 2024?

Land speculators have been hovering nearby, anticipating that Council will do their bidding. If Council yanks the LUCs and declares us now to be RS3, that opens the way for speculators to pull out existing affordable housing and build very large structures that frequently, if not mostly, are easily paid off by the lucrative business of under- the-table rentals via illegal suites. Affordable housing will effectively be torn from present owners and gifted to speculators who blatantly defy zoning bylaws.

How ironic that we could see ourselves forced out by the RS3 ‘non-compliance’ concept, yet mayors and councils past and present have averted their eyes to blatant non-compliance with existing bylaws. People have grown rich on ‘non-compliance,’ yet to those who own these properties, play and pay by the rules, the same councils would create zoning with the potential to take your homes away!

A neighbour phoned Darren Braun to ask what would happen at the Nov. 1 meeting. Darren said everyone who signs in will be given a form with the three questions, and a sticker to place on one of the three options. She then asked: What if one owner brings his brothers, cousins, uncles, friends (etc.)? Darren said every one of them would get the form — that form that will determine our future. The comment sheets, that will be given by staff to Council, can be filled in by total strangers from far outside of our 160 or so properties. The forms and stickers are to be freely handed out to all and sundry, who are then free to totally dilute the will of this unique community.

What a lovely gift to the land-use speculators who really, really want Council to zone us out — so they can move in and make some fast, easy money.

And Darren refuses to assure us that all comments will be open and available to the public. Nothing stops people from stuffing the comment box, and the sticker board with the request to remove our LUCs early and implement a zoning that will severely threaten our continued living on our own lands.

If we are not to be privy to those comments, this process is nothing but a sham, flawed and corrupt.

During this past year city staff assured some of us that we had nothing to worry about. Council, they said, would not be making any changes that harmed us. Was that just intended to disarm us, let down our guard? For now we hear that an unknown number of unknown people will be counted as significant factors in the zoning decision. This is deliberate, planned theft of our properties.

So then I say that Abbotsford’s Mayor and Council are engaging in some serious abuse of their office, using their elected positions to buy favour with speculators, and willing to throw current owners, mostly medium- to lower-income people, off their lands.

RS3 zoning must not be tolerated! RS3 has the power to take away what we bought in good faith. RS3 won’t allow continued mobiles/modulars if 75% damage occurs. RS3 does, however, allow for mega houses to max out the footprint, with three stories and suites. Taxes will certainly increase to match the value of the mega houses. But to sell and relocate anywhere in the Lower Mainland into any comparable home will be nigh impossible. The money that speculators will pay won’t come close to what it will cost us for a home like what we have here.

RS3 will work to take our affordable housing away and replace it with landlords of mega houses who will rent out suites at the going (high) rate. Such housing offers competition for developers and builders who can’t compete with rentals that fly under the radar and therefore don’t comply with all the rules and costs of their trade. So the result will be less affordable housing, and more illegal suites.

I’m hoping many people will write and demand transparency. Refusing scrutiny on this multi-million dollar zoning is criminal. What do Mayor and Council want to hide? Darren, or anyone at the City, please set the record straight, if I’ve got the information wrong.

All comments, with names and addresses, must be made public. Only current owners on Oakridge Crescent, Lombard Avenue, Monarch Court, and Crystal Court must be allowed to influence the future for our neighbourhood.