Opinion

City is losing ground to the rich

To the editor:

I am fed up with the Okanagan Valley being taken over by rich developers from afar and super rich people that are moving here.

Where are our glorious leaders at city hall that promised us “Time for a change?”

What a farce that statement was, spoken with fork tongue like past governments said to the aboriginals years ago: We promise you all…yada, yada, yada.

Since our new mayor took the reins, development has hit the roof. Look at Rutland: 800 homes are planned to be built starting at $650,000. Our great mayor states it is OK as it was planned long before Kelowna was in need for affordable homes.

Then she says the people who are buying these highly priced homes have the option to rent out suites.

Firstly, anyone affording to buy one of these massive homes doesn’t need an extra suite to rent and the worry and frustration having renters, do they? They’re already rich. Why would they need to rent, tell me that?

Secondly, who in their right mind would want to live way up there when most work in the city?

Thirdly, but not last, the owners in that group of homes if they did decide to rent would be just as greedy as the rest and charge an arm and a leg to live there.

No Sharon Shepherd, you and your cronies are selling the residents of Kelowna out and I hate it.

Our city is being taken over by the rich and we just sit by and wait to see what happens to our lives.

Look at Revelstoke, a quiet little town of 6,000 or so souls, has announced a ski resort will be built bringing in 600 or more homes all for the rich, mostly Americans that start at $600,000. Good grief, who are these people that one American from Idaho says he will buy three as an investment? Already after this announcement rents have doubled in some places, everyone is getting on the band wagon—pure greed!

Think now of the anguish and how people’s lives will be changed in that picturesque little town all because of some developer given permission to build, it isn’t fair.

Today a woman makes $20,000 a year full employment and cannot afford her rent. Holy cow, I made $20,000 back in the ’60s. Are we going backwards here? Employment sucks here in the valley, people are being paid peanuts—time for a change here, too. To live comfortably in Kelowna today one needs to make over $45,000 a year.

I thought when Sharon Shepherd said those infamous words ‘Time for a change,’ she meant to stop all construction until the infrastructure caught up, a new hospital for sure, a much needed bridge completed, affordable homes built for the workers making low salaries. This is what she should of planned not what she and her cronies are giving us.

I have to say a few businesses are making money on this expansion of homes and the rich moving in, but many more are suffering for it and that is a crying shame. You must ask yourself who is really benefiting from all this development?

People who have lived in the mobile home parks along the water for many years are deeply concerned as their time is up, developers are knocking at the owners’ doors offering big bucks, to hell with the people who have lived there for 15 years or so. Get rid of them.

I’m sure that I am not the only one who can see what damage the city council isdoing to our lovely city. In a few years I will predict all access to the lake will be bought by the rich and we sit on our butts and allow this. Shame on us all.

Wayne Harris, Kelowna

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