Unsustainable growth not always inevitable

Re: Continued growth comes at a price, Saturday Beat, Feb. 4.

To the Editor,

Re: Continued growth comes at a price, Saturday Beat, Feb. 4.

I addressed this issue at the Regional District Nanaimo Area A Official Community Plan review. The issue and questions regarding funding for medical, police, fire and traffic services were ignored, because “growth is inevitable.”

Nanaimo doctors were refusing new patients and the Ladysmith clinic still has a waiting list of about 200 people.

Major residential, commercial and light industrial plans include areas of Cable Bay (Oceanview), Island Timberlands next to Cable Bay, Sandstone (South Gate), more airport development to support the unsustainable airport, Island Timberlands (Cassidy), and two residential developments and a golf course just north of Ladysmith.

Project land, taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve for development, now is for sale for millions of dollars, because of lack of funding.

The City of Nanaimo, Ladysmith, and developers intend to access water from the vulnerable Cassidy aquifers. RDN residents agreed to a $25 tax/year to research water.

About 150 people were randomly invited to three “well water focus” meetings in Cassidy and South Wellington. Attendees were to receive a $40 incentive. Ten people attended the first meeting; on the day of the second meeting remaining meetings were cancelled.

Low voter turn-out at the last municipal election, and low participation  in the Area A Official Community Plan process, suggest a huge disconnect between what residents ask for and what the RDN decides to do.

How many people know that the RDN tried to place (but had to rescind) a (development) accord between the RDN and the Nanaimo Airport Commission into the Area A OCP, while forbidding any changes by the OCP Review Committee, made up of community members?

RDN residents must consider the value of incorporation into municipalities, to choose our own mayors and councils, prevent annexation of our borders, decide which developments are sustainable, and ensure that tax dollars remain within our areas.

Lavonne Garnett

Nanaimo