By Mike Archer. The report by Alex Butler in the Abbotsford News over the weekend that the City will spend $175,000 to have Urban Systems Limited (USL) draft a new zoning bylaw spells relief for a number of companies which have been trying to invest in Abbotsford but have given up trying to navigate our byzantine procedures.
Some of our biggest problems have resulted from the loose and informal pairing of the of rules, regulations, bylaws and staff from the two districts which were amalgamated to form the City of Abbotsford in 1995.
Some staff, while they were qualified to run a small district, were not qualified to fulfill the same role for a City the size has Abbotsford become. In some case it has been the individuals. In some cases it has been the structure. When unqualified individuals have been paired with unworkable structures and bylaws we have paid a severe price.
If we can get our act together and provide a workable zoning bylaw the next step will be to stop deferring the desperate need for infrastructure upgrades in order to build vanity projects and pet projects of councillors like the abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, the Reach Gallery and Museum or the Friendship Garden, and focus on spending taxpayers’ money on what is needed to make Abbotsford become a place modern businesses want to come and invest.
While it should have been done years ago, the fact it is now being done is welcome news to anyone hoping to see Abbotsford grow out of the doldrums into which it has descended over the last decade.