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LETTER: Yes, but where are the jobs?

Martin Sparkes of the District of Kent advocates against the Teacup properties removal

This letter has been edited to more closely fit letter length requirements. Letters to the editor may be edited for clarity, brevity and taste.

Dear Editor,

The Teacup development proposal, as I understand it, is to cram into the property as many small homes as possible. From a District perspective, this is considered infilling or densifying and is in line with the stated goal of preserving agricultural land. This aligns with the developers need to maximize revenue per lot, so its easy for them to pitch a proposal that looks good on paper.

Harrison Hot Springs has been building small homes as fast as possible, but they are not building jobs in the community. Any new residents will need to travel through Agassiz a few times a week in search of services neither Harrison nor Agassiz offers (hospitals, affordable groceries etc.).

When the District infilled Morrow Road, the argument was that affordable homes were needed so our children could live in the community they grew up in. But in order to pay a mortgage one needs a well-paying job. The district has made no attempt to make room for attracting businesses that employ skilled trades and professionals beyond the construction of the houses themselves which is bridge to nowhere.

My question is to the purpose of rezoning the Teacup.Who is living in those new homes here and in Harrison? Is this to generate fast cash?

Perhaps there is an obvious point I am missing. It seems if the District wishes to invite people to live here, they should provide a means for new residents to earn a good income. Otherwise, we are just adding more commuters and congestion to our aging two-lane bridge.

Any future development that involves rezoning ALR land should require an industrial or commercial component with specific targets for attracting well-paying jobs and businesses. Once the mortgage-paying jobs are provided, then the expansion of residential housing on to good farmland could be revisited.

Martin Sparkes

District of Kent

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