Draft: Newcastle + Brechin Neighbourhood Plan

Dan Appell —  September 20, 2010
The Brechin Hill neighbourhood plan steering committee just gave me a copy of the draft of the “Newcastle + Brechin Neighbourhood Plan.” The steering committee has had it for about three days.

I’ve had a brief look at it, and I was exposed to the raw, exhausted emotion of the steering committee. From what I’ve seen, I would say this is a neighbourhood plan in name only.

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Here are the offending bits of the draft copy of the Newcastle+Brechin Neighbourhood Plan.

These bits are key. With these bits the rest of the plan is useless as in un-do-able. Without these bits, the community might have a chance. If this was modified to conform to a Medium Density Neighbourhood then we probably would see progress. Click images to enlarge.

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The most contentious issue is waterfront development along Stewart Avenue. Here the city is allowing unlimited development with densities equal to the downtown core. This is so destabilizing, as far as the neighbourhoods are concerned, that there is virtually nothing else to discuss. Still, the steering committee is gamely producing a very long list of additional objections. More on these objections in later posts.

For now the prospect of towers on the water front becomes an ever increasing inevitability. I can’t help thinking that the anemic resistance to the tower proposal at Port Place Mall indicated to the city, that the time was right to give a handful of property owners along the water front carte blanche. This document does nothing more that assure these few people that they can retire wealthy and move to a warmer climate.

I do think the opposition to this so called, ‘neighbourhood plan’ will be much better organized. The property owners in Brechin Hill have got something very specific and very significant to lose if this plan is accepted by council.

For now, the steering committee is in the process of distributing information to their neighbourhood. They are at the beginning stages of forming a organization along the lines of FPN. They are organizing presentations for the upcoming Plan Nanaimo Advisory Committee and then the Council Meeting that will ultimately decide their fate.

Your support would be very much appreciated.

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