LETTER: Promises made in binding covenant at Langford public hearing

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Re: Final public hearing for controversial Langford land parcel ends without promises made

I am not sure from reading Aaron Guillen’s article whether we attended the same public hearing at Langford City Hall on Nov. 25. Mr. Guillen writes “the meeting ended without any promises made” and Nicole Polet, self-appointed chair of the Citizens of South Langford for Sustainable Development (CSLSD), is quoted as saying “we were really going for a firm commitment today, but we didn’t get that.” Really? I heard the City’s Director of Planning read a long list of promises that the developer will have to agree to in the form of a binding covenant registered on title before this rezoning will be considered for adoption.

That seems to be both a promise and a commitment. The article then explores the curious notion put forward by the CSLSD that the City of Langford should expend the taxpayers’ Park Acquisition Reserve funds to buy the property when the developer intends to dedicate, or covenant and protect 40 per cent of the approximately 70-acre site. Even more bizarre than this is the suggestion that somehow the Land Conservancy of B.C. needs to be involved in City’s park land or else it is not truly protected.

While I commend anyone who is truly working towards sustainable development, this CSLSD group seems only to be concerned about the preservation of a remnant piece of forest that is now encompassed by the urban fabric of Langford and which curiously happens to occur in their back yards. Of note, perhaps, is that many of the speakers at the podium that evening spoke eloquently and with passion about some of the lesser known and often overlooked aspects of sustainability, namely that economic sustainability comes from the creation of good jobs and that social sustainability comes, in part, through available and attainable housing.

Jim Hartshorne

Langford

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