By Mike Archer. So; Cold Water Ranch Ltd. is threatening to move PrairieCoast John Deere, Avenue Machinery, Caliber Equipment and Handlers Equipment to Chilliwack unless the City of Abbotsford abandons its Official Community Plan (OCP) and dives headlong into a proposal for which Cold Water has yet to demonstrate the value to the City of Abbotsford.
According to the Abbotsford News account by Alex Butler, “City staff raised concerns that using the land for agri-industrial purposes is not within the city’s Official Community Plan (OCP), which designates the area as suburban residential. As the city has yet to grow into the area residentially, staff say the city is years away from understanding the long-term residential needs of the area and building the Agri-Mall could alter future development capacities in the area. “In response Counillor Patricia Ross says she is more concerned about the threat to move four businesses out of town than staff’s concerns over the long-term viability of the City.
Councillor John Smith says our OCP is now ancient (8 years-old) and, will be changed soon anyway … so who cares what the OCP says.Mayor Bruce Banman, who has turned out to be an even funnier provider of comic relief around the council table than Simon Gibson, says that, since we break the OCP all the time who cares about the future viability of the economic growth and sustainability of the City, let’s just make the decision now.
Abbotsford council feels more and more like student’s council did in grade seven as kids were being given the chance to learn how the real world works. Unfortunately, these councillors have just about destroyed their city trying to learn how the real world works.
We no longer have the time, the money or the patience to see if these dolts will ever learn how to do their jobs properly.Bruce – the whole point, in fact the only point, of an OCP is the long-term viability and sustainability of the community. The first good piece of advice your staff has provided council in almost a decade and this is the time you choose to throw them under the bus?
Who the hell is going to want to invest in a residential development beside a farm tractor mall?
How long will this community continue to put up with such childish, inexperienced and foolhardy leadership?
Let the companies move to Chilliwack and continue developing the Sumas Way stretch as a retail corridor. Their taxes will be replaced. Or better yet – stick to the OCP and tell Cold Water to move the companies into one of the industrial zoned areas which are sitting developed but empty.
Oh … maybe they can’t cause the land they own is over in East Abbotsford. Well how the hell are they going to move those companies over to Chilliwack if their land is in Abbotsford?
It gets so tiring for people who give a damn about this community to watch the fools we have spend our money with such carefree abandon and almost deliberate ignorance of reality, common sense or endless amounts of good advice from people who care and know what they are talking about.
Sort of the way the City promised the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) it would never allow a Supportive Housing Project in the ADBA zoned area, and then spent five years negotiating with the BC government to do just that.
There ought to be a cost – a real cost – to breaking the rules in Abbotsford. For instance, as the Abbotsford Drug War Survivors (DWS) have argued, if the City goes ahead and breaks its word to the ADBA by allowing the ACS Supportive Housing Proposal to go through, the City should compensate the ADBA for breaching the contract which was made.
Banman is so cavalier in his willingness to chuck out the rule book. Maybe he hasn’t read it and can’t be bothered letting it get in the way of the decisions he likes to make.
Perhaps, when faced with yet another decision to effectively break the rules (which is what deviating from the OCP means) we have to learn to ask Cui Bono – who benefits? After all, the only people who seem to be benefiting from this council’s largess are companies like the Calgary Flames, Global Spectrum, Highstreet Mall and any others to which City politicians have either given tax breaks, signed contracts or other means of providing access to taxpayer funds in order to help private business. We almost gave away the farm to Banman’s other favourite charity – the YMCA, until taxpayers told Council enough was enough.