Beauty vs. Progress?

Beauty vs. Progress?

A friend went down to the farmer’s market and gave their opinion against the high-density construction and traffic concerns to the planning department representatives. They were told by the young spokesperson at the planning department, ‘It’s progress, get used to it.’ Perhaps the young people in the planning department are misunderstanding the meaning of “progress”. Progress should not be measured by how many people you can pack into a small space. Progress should be measured by the happiness, health, and beauty of the community.

The standards required on new developments are slipping: We are seeing more and more Plain Jane, high density, low-quality boxes sitting on pavement. There is no reason why new developments cannot add beauty and value to communities around the city.

The new Official Community Plan should include more serious regulations on: architectural value; good setback from roadways; trees and green spaces within every development to cool the environment: lovely landscaping, use of drip lines to conserve water.; underground wiring; everyone should have a view of our lovely hills, not a view of towers.; no more than four storeys, more emphasis on family housing (townhomes, duplex, in-fills); encouragement of sustainable housing, energy innovation; provide enough parking spaces per unit; quality sturdy construction.

The beauty of new developments in the city should reflect the beauty of the surrounding valley. No more ticky tacky boxes. If the planning department does not listen to the majority of the people in this community, perhaps it is time for a shakeup in this department after the next election.

The planning department has one last chance to leave a lasting legacy that they and our beautiful city can be proud of. Will they do it?

If you want to express your opinion please go to shapeyourcitypenticton.ca and click on the Official Community Plan and then add your opinion. If you don’t let them know what you want, the developers will have all the power.

Kathy Corbett

Penticton