Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Re-shaping the map of Greater Victoria

Frank Stanford commented that “we are experiencing a historic re-shaping of the map of Greater Victoria...and we hope we have not misplaced our faith in our politicians and bureaucrats to get it right.

He was addressing the increase in various high-rise developments, downtown and in Saanich, which help save parkland and improve overall planning and society costs.

His point is correct and if we are serious as a region to have planned areas of high density along with parks, which most of us are, then such planned development is most likely going to occur with an amalgamated region.

Think about it. Who would want to ensure there is parkland in which to hike and explore, which is close to home, more than the residents of Victoria? No one. The Highlands residents could say they can handle more development which would give those few residents a greater tax base, because other parkland is so close to them in the west. Yet that land just becomes further and further away for the majority of the area's population.

If you want to maintain parks, make sure the people of the region have a say in it, not just the few in an area who might benefit from reduced taxed with more development.

If you want to improve the cultural facilities of the region, with a new concert hall, stadium, theatre, ask everyone in the area to consider the issue, as those who attend will come from all over.

Long term planning for a community cannot be successfully done by thirteen different blocks going in their own direction.

It is naive to think that the interests of the West Shore are significantly different than the core. We all move freely and regularly among the cities and what happens in one area affects us all. Many of us live, work and recreate in different municipalities every week.

The reality is that without amalgamation, the chances that our 91 municipal representatives, will never get it right.

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