Letter: Not in favour of trade-off of development for access road

Tuesday, June 14 2016

I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed Church/Spruce/Cox development. I have two main concerns regarding the proposal: water and traffic. 

Gabriola has been experiencing severe drought conditions for several years. Drought-sensitive trees are dying. The water table is dropping. Wells are drying up. The proposed 25 large luxury homes would use a lot of water. Has the environmental impact of these homes on the aquifer been studied? The sustainability of Gabriola’s precious water resources should be the most important factor when considering development proposals. Rezoning land out of forestry, approving smaller lots and transferring densities should not be considered during a severe and ongoing drought. 

Like all residents of Phase 4, I am concerned about emergency access and evacuation. However, I am not in favour of the proposed trade-off of an access road in exchange for a large development. The cost is too high. A through-road would impact the residents of Church, Spruce, Chelwood and Norwich with increased traffic, noise and dust. The road connecting Spruce and Church could be made accessible for emergency access with relatively minor improvements and an easement from the owner. Emergency access should not be contingent on accepting a large development. 

~ Glenda Berry