By James Breckenridge. The call by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce for an end to the rezoning of property in Abbotsford from the use it is zoned for, to a zoning that permits the owner of the property to use the property for purposes different than its original zoning, came as quite a surprise.
No doubt the neighbours of the Mahogany at Mill Lake highrise are wondering why Allan Asaph, executive director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, did not speak out against rezoning the property on Bevan Avenue, a rezoning necessary for the developers to build their highrise, given how unfair it was to “…citizens to change the rules.”
Or does the Chamber of Commerce’s “no rezoning” and “fairness to business and citizens” only apply to projects the Chamber is opposed to?
“He [Allan Asaph] said no one disputes that supportive housing is needed …” adding the Chamber of Commerce to those chanting the ‘we need this type of housing but this is the wrong location’ mantra. Mr. Asaph then proceeded to add to the frivolous justifications being given, such as the presence of liquor stores downtown … as if there were no liquor stores elsewhere in Abbotsford and ignoring the fact that a simple phone call will have liquor (or drugs) delivered to your door, as to why all the calls to put the housing somewhere, anywhere, else are not NIMBYism.
What will the Chamber champion next on this matter? Will they join the calls for this housing to be built on the outskirts of Abbotsford, well away from the services the residents need? Why not go whole hog and build Abbotsford’s homeless housing in … Langley or Vancouver?
Abbotsford Community Services [ACS} has stepped up to provide leadership to get this badly needed housing [first stage housing, a first step to reducing street homelessness in Abbotsford] built. They have proposed a specific location for this housing and secured funding for the project.
So let me be blunt, if you are a member of those whose mantra is ‘we need this type of housing but this is the wrong location’: stand and deliver as ACS has.
Tell the citizens of Abbotsford where, exactly where, you propose this housing be built – as ACS has done.
Give the citizens of Abbotsford the address you consider the ‘right’ location; a specific address, not some vague statements about a mythical ‘better’ location or somewhere in Clearbrook or on the outskirts of Abbotsford or ‘over there’.
ACS is seeking to rezone the property at 2408 Montvue Avenue. What is the street address of the property you propose for the location of this housing?
Specify how you will fund the construction of this housing. Because the funding ACS has from BC Housing is specific to the proposed housing at 2408 Montvue Avenue.
Caveat Emptor: this is the same type of behaviour that cost Abbotsford the $11 million in capital funding offered by the province to build affordable housing for men, matching the funding made available to build the Christine Lamb Residence