The Courier Reports On Our Battle

The following is extracted from the online Courier of today:

barbara-cameron“This week, a Grandview-Woodland petition opposing the construction of a tower at Venables and Commercial Drive surpassed 1,000 names. Barbara Cameron, one of the organizers behind the No Tower Coalition, said the names are being collected online and door-to-door. The petition aims to stop a proposal by developer Boffo Properties and the Kettle Society to redevelop land at that location. The proposal includes a 12- to 15-storey building …

The proposal is only in its preliminary stages — it hasn’t been formally filed with the city because the Grandview-Woodland community plan isn’t finalized, so it’s unclear what will ultimately be permitted on the site. Even the Grandview-Woodland Citizens’ Assembly wasn’t able to reach consensus on what height should be allowed, although 16 members signed a “minority report” backing the project.

Cameron said the coalition supports the Kettle Society, but it can’t support a tower. “This is not about the Kettle or its services. This is about changing the streetscape of the Drive,” she said … “[The site] is an inappropriate place for the massive building that they’re proposing. I know the Kettle has explored many options but I think the exploration is not complete yet. There are other ways to create supportive housing than to rely on private developers. It sets a very dangerous precedent to rely on private developers for public health and mental health programs,”

Cameron said. “I just think at this point we have to speak up as a neighbourhood about the actual structure [proposed] and that’s our key focus here — the structure, the imposition of that on to a four-storey streetscape that is very precious to us.”

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