By Mike Archer. Even a downsized project on Gladwin Rd. ran into heavy opposition from an angry group of residents opposed to two towers now planned for the property between George Ferguson Way and Maclure.
The residents were on hand at a public hearing into the zoning amendments being proposed by the developers Monday night. The project is planned to include two 26-storey towers with a total of 900 residential units on the 9.6-acres 3068 Gladwin Rd.
After a dozen residents got up to speak passionately and sometimes repeatedly, architect Colin Hogan, representing the developers, pointed out that the original plan was for six towers and that the developers, Kevin Wiebe and Ron Funk, have scaled back significantly on the project.
Residents, however, were not so much objecting to the size of the project as they were to the change to their neighbourhood. While there was discussion of the sun being blocked by the towers and increased traffic, most of those objecting seemed concerned about the environmental impact of the project nearby Horn Creek.
Residents were passionate about not wanting their neighbourhood changed, specifically by adding a commercial component to the project.
One resident asked if the developers could be relied on to refrain from breaking ground until they were actually going to build saying, that Abbotsford is filling up with empty holes in the ground from building projects that were abandoned due to lack of sales.
Building permits and housing starts have been steadily declining in Abbotsford for years as its external and internal debt has mounted and its lack of money has forced it to continue to defer necessary infrastructure projects.