An artist rendering of a development proposal for 388 Machleary St. (Molnar Group image)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Neighbours over-reacting to 388 Machleary project

References to something called ‘neighbourhood character’ is not a sound argument, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Opposition to 388 Machleary proposal over-extends public hearing, Sept. 19.

If someone was just now reading about the Molnar proposal on Kennedy Street they’d wonder what’s got these people so angry? Is there proposed an abattoir or a hide tanning factory or perhaps a huge gravel pit with heavy equipment? And, if they looked into it they’d find it’s not uses like those that are seen as the problem. It’s new neighbours.

Citizens’ views from their living room windows and the parking spots in front of their houses are not rights embedded in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

That a 25-year-old neighbourhood plan exists is not a sound argument against this project. References to something called “neighbourhood character” near this project are made from time to time and this is also not a sound argument. More people, me among them, now live in compact apartments, strata condominiums and townhouses than live in single family homes around this project.

Diversity, sidewalk sociability, walkability, a variety of independent small businesses, restaurants and cafés, a bustling job centre (public sector and professionals). These make up the neighbourhood character where I live, just two blocks away from the Molnar residential project. This is the sort of downtown neighbourhood that cities across North America have recognized holds the key to a socially and economically and environmentally successful city. New neighbours make it even better.

RELATED: Opposition to 388 Machleary proposal over-extends public hearing

RELATED: Development proposal for old Nanaimo hospital site moving to public hearing

I call on Nanaimo city council to give relatively little weight in deciding on this project to the number of people opposed at the public hearing and more weight to the relative validity of their arguments.

Approval of this project ticks boxes in council’s strategic plan: economic health, liveability, and environmental responsibility. And, in my view, makes a substantial contribution to the greater public good.

Frank Murphy, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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