Something was dropped in my mailbox yesterday afternoon that really made me mad.
With all of this discussion we’ve had about affordability issues and how to fix them, I was surprised to find a letter supposedly from a “group of neighbours” asking me to oppose the rezoning along West 10th avenue, from single family homes to townhouses that would be about three or four stories high.
Now we’re talking about the busy part of West 10th that runs parallel to Broadway, which already has condo buildings. The houses to be re-zoned back on to those buildings.
The map that was included with the anonymous letter:
But listen to the arguments these nameless, faceless anonymous people put forward:
According to them, these townhouses won’t make anything affordable, because they’ll still be too expensive for most people so why bother.
They also claim these townhouses will destroy affordable secondary suite rentals.
This in the same neighbourhood where if you go on Airbnb as I did last night, you will see that many of my neighbours are not renting out their suites for affordability reasons and the goodness of their hearts and the betterment of their neighbours.
No, they have them on Airbnb to rent on a nightly basis.
The group ends their letter by telling me to go to their website, which I did. The website implores me to write a letter to city hall, demanding an end to densification in the neighbourhood.
But nowhere can I find out who is behind this, who these people are and why I should listen to them. If you aren’t willing to come forward and be the face of your opinion, then why should people listen to you.
Essentially what they’re saying is they don’t want anything to protect their spiraling property value and they don’t want anybody else moving into the neighbourhood.
People blocking development contributes to our housing crisis
This is exactly one of the bigger parts of our problem.
It’s not just foreign investment or real estate regulations or taxes on vacant homes, it is people who are blocking change.
People who, according to their map and their letter, don’t want busy streets like West 10th or West 16th or Macdonald to be rezoned to add townhouses.
No, they believe they should stay single family homes.
I haven’t been able to find out anything about the people behind this letter, only that they call their website communityindex.ca.
I say, whoever you area, don’t be chicken – come forward and defend yourselves.
Anonymous, faceless criticism is a cop out
If you are going to stick a letter in my mailbox and tell me I should sign your petition and write City Hall, don’t you think your neighbours deserve to know who you are?
Have the guts to come out and say what you really mean: you don’t want anything to interfere with you cashing in, regardless of what your neighbourhood really needs.