Letters to the editor.

LETTER: Council should reconsider Hope Station House, residential changes

‘It’s up to the area homeowners to fight this one’

I have great respect for our town’s elected officials.

With only nominal compensation they dedicate countless time and effort to seeing that Hope maintains its enviable reputation as one of the very best places to live in B.C. Not an easy chore, because it’s just not possible to please all the people all the time – I wouldn’t want that job for all the tea in China.

However, my reckoning says that they put forward their best which is all that can be expected. Big thanks to you all.

So now to the Station House. It’s important that historical buildings should be, if possible, honoured and maintained. We owe this to future generations so they can try to imagine what Grandma and Grandpa were up to in their day.

However, once council accepted the substantial cash settlement from the province and agreed in writing to vacate the Water Ave./ Hope Princeton Way lot I see little way of going back. (Demolition of the building was also agreed on.)

Group walks, peaceful picketing, placard waving will inevitably fall on deaf ears unless a big, fat, four-letter word is used – cash.

Apparently there is a petition with over 3,000 supporting signatures. Now imagine if each person put their money where their placards are and pledged $100 for the cause. 3,000 times $100. It would mean $300,000 bargaining power with council.

A naive thought, but my $100 cheque is ready and waiting.

The next one makes no sense to me but fortunately there is still time for positive action. We the people own several properties throughout Hope, including bare land at 455 Coquihalla St. It is currently zoned RS 1 as is every residential property in the whole area.

Council are now calling for a public hearing on Nov. 8 in order to attempt a rezoning of this large lot to RM 1, meaning a multi-family apartment block. If successful this could result in a high rise smack in the middle of a neighbourhood of exclusively single family dwellings.

I understand the need for council to make every effort to increase its tax revenue base but is this the way they plan on doing it? Apartment buildings just plopped down in quiet residential areas?

Definitely short-sighted thinking, there are better ways of improving their bottom line.

It’s up to the area homeowners to fight this one, so I hope to see council chambers on Nov. 8 crowded to overflowing.

Wes Chaulk

(Editor’s Note: This letter was submitted prior to the Nov. 8 meeting mentioned. While three readings of the bylaw amendment have taken place, it has not been adopted.)

Letter to the Editor