To the editor:
I find it laughable that the Kelowna planning/zoning department put up signs that say ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood…Have your say.’
Our neighbourhood recently circulated a petition against the Davara Enterprises proposal for 305 Homer Rd. to re-zone the single family property and build a two-storey, nine-unit motel-style building. It is touted as ‘affordable’ housing and will have a total of 27 bedrooms with parking for 18 cars plus two visitor parking stalls. In return Davara Enterprises will pay taxes on the property as it is today for 10 years and will receive a grant of $8,900.
We, the taxpayers in the area collected over 300 signatures against the project and at the Dec. 1, 2015 council meeting there were approximately 50 people present of which about 12 spoke passionately against the project.
Prior to the meeting Council and Mayor Basran also received about 10 letters vehemently opposed to the project.
The citizens and taxpayers arguments against the re-zoning and project included an increase in traffic which would cause safety issues for adults and children and an increase in crime as well as the fact that the layout of the property does not afford any play area for the children.
The Davara representative pointed out that they could go across the street to Ben Lee Park to play. Ben Lee had a great vision for the park he was very instrumental in creating, but I’m afraid it has become a haven for drug addicts and consequently do not think it is an appropriate place for young children to play unsupervised.
My husband and I used to walk our dogs there in the evening, but discontinued after being screamed at and almost run over by skateboarders high on some sort of drug. There have been couches dragged to the park and burned, the outhouse was burned, the water fountain (all at the skate park area) and the Ben Lee sign in the gazebo have been vandalized. At the Leathead Road end near the skate park there is usually a pile of litter even though there are numerous bins for its disposal—that is until city workers clean it up each day.
The RCMP’s excuse for not cleaning out the drug users is that “they run away.” Maybe we need some bike patrol or mounted patrol in the park, in the summer at least.
At the Dec. 1 meeting, council acknowledged all the letters they received but did not read them out. They listened (but did not hear) all the people who spoke, they listened to the Devara representative and definitely heard what he had to say and completely ignored the wishes of the taxpayers of our area simply because Davara Holdings ticked all the boxes.
What happened to democracy and the voice of the people? I guess money really does talk because this is most definitely not ‘Your Neighbourhood’ any longer.
Margaret Wouters, Kelowna