Letter: New housing policy bad idea

Tuesday, February 28 2017

Dear Editor and Trustees, 

I really have been trying to take a break from Islands Trust issues. Fairly or not, I believe I’ve done my stint for the well-being of Gabriola for a while. 

So, frankly, I’m feeling a bit grouchy after reading last week’s editorial.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that the Local Trust Committee is planning to change density transfer protocols outlined in the Official Community Plan. I think it’s unwise to set a precedent that may result in ever-decreasing returns on every piece of Forest land in future negotiations, but hopefully the community will continue to at least get something out of the trade-offs. 

But now I learn from the Sounder that the LTC is seriously considering policy that will allow landowners to put kitchens and bathrooms in every accessory building on their property, thereby making it possible to create up to three illegal dwellings on every lot, regardless of lot size. 

And also regardless of the impact it could have on the water table, septic systems, the number of residents on the island, the number of cars on the ferry, or the complete headache of trying to police all the new illegal dwellings should Gabriolans someday decide a healthy environment actually is important to them.

All – apparently – because somebody might want to put a commercial kitchen in a studio. 

I can’t emphasise how much I am hoping to hear that I have misunderstood the situation, and I can go back to ignoring what the LTC is doing.

For a “Rural Gabriola,”

~ Chris Bowers