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

 “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers


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  • Deceit in Drugs says:

    ‘Now, that’s a surprise?”

    The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce says, “it does not support
    rezoning of the property on Montvue.”

    In an Abbotsford news article, November, 2008,, the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Mayor and council: says it has concerns that the supply of standardized and supportive housing does not meet demand.”

    The Chamber stated, “we are concerned about marginalized people that
    are homeless and those, who are the verge of homelessness.”

    “According to the chamber, it is encouraging Mayor and Council to work with government and social agencies to “create a wide variety of housing models” to ensure everyone has adequate shelter and a place to call home.”

    “And while recognizing that proposals to establish housing in some areas of the city have met with ‘controversy and nimby-ism,’ Barlow said, “the Chamber will support the city, in making the right decisions in the face of adversity.”

    “Barlow said, “people need a safe and affordable homes near schools, amenities and public transportation.”

    However, the Abbotsford Chamber is, now, saying, it does not support rezoning of the property on Montvue for a low-barrier housing complex, despite previously saying it” will support the city in making the right decisions in the face of adversity.”

    Does this mean, it will give support to Council in approving much needed housing for the homeless in the ADBA area or just in other parts of the city?

    It is important to note, the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce had
    indicated in it’s “Chamber Voice, in June, 2010, in relation to the
    Mahogany Tower Vote, “it wants Abbotsford to stay true to it’s OCP.”

    David Hull, past exec. director wrote, ” the Chamber did not support the rezoning,” yet on the other hand stated, “Mayor and Council, though not unanimously, made a tough decision, but, a right decision with the Mahogany application.”

    He said, ” In the absence to change the OCP, one would have to deduce that the city was content with the allowable uses, which inc. a high rise building.”

    He failed, however, to point out that the OCP allowed for a highrise, but, not a 26+ story tower and a further amendment was made to Abbotsford Zoning Bylaw 1996, Amendmentnt By-Law No. 625, by
    adding a “NEW COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT SEVENTEEN ZONE (N17) to establish specific land use and development regulations for a combined high rise and low rise multi-family residential apartment development.” (BY-LAW 1959-2010)

    The new N17 zoning permitted height or structure of the new Mahogany Tower to be a ‘maximum height of any building or structure to be 80m and twenty-six storeys for building A and 10 m and two storeys for Building C.

    Select Chamber Exec., past & present, can mince words all they want, but, the bottom line is they supported the rezoning of the property on Gladwin Rd. for the Mahogany Mill Tower project, in favor of developer,
    Dianne Delves and they, also indicated that despite, “proposals to establish housing in some areas of the city have met with controversy and nimbyism, the Chamber will support council in making the right decisions in adversity.”

    When the Chamber says it doesn’t support rezoning of the property
    on Montvue, it is, also, saying it does not support the low-barrier
    housing proposal but, it does support the ADBA, who doesn’t want the
    supportive housing in their area, the Chamber does not support council in making the right decisions in adversity and their comments about
    the need for a variety of housing models only applies, if it is not
    in the ADBA area of the city.

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