Letter: Affordable housing plan not so affordable for Kelowna

The city has engaged in high-density development, completely oblivious to the obvious.

To the editor:

Greed is controlling city hall, denying the people their democratic right to decide how they want Kelowna to grow and develop.

Kelowna city council’s ambition to provide shelter for 50,000 non-resident people who already are living elsewhere in the comfort of their homes might be acceptable as an April fools joke, but it is an absolute non-starter for providing desperately needed shelter for the poor and homeless population of Kelowna.

Investing millions of dollars in so-called affordable housing in this hyper-inflated housing market makes absolutely no economic sense and telling us we need to grow to pay for our already overtaxed infrastructure is not true. The facts are that as our city continues to grow, taxes have and will continue to increase – exponentially.

Our public shorelines must be protected, and lands along those shorelines should be re-zoned for park development and recreational infrastructure.

Instead, the city has engaged in high-density development, completely oblivious to the obvious, that today’s high density developments will be tomorrow’s slums, that will increase social costs and drive taxes even further into orbit.

Over the years the chamber and other local business groups have increased in numbers, and they have collectively become extremely aggressive, lobbying city council to maintain a very accelerated growth strategy to help them increase their revenues and profits.

By discounting the development cost charges while accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers to stream-line re-zoning to accommodate their proposals for massive developments, the developers have effectively gained control of our city’s planning department, and our city councillors have allowed themselves to become the developer’s rubber stamps.

Our city councillors were elected to protect our rights and our quality of life. They have absolutely no mandate to open the doors for 50,00 people, just to increase the customer count in our local stores.

Andy Thomsen

Kelowna

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