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Letter to the editor: 'Disaster' coming for east Bainbridge if zoning designation not reconsidered

An east Bainbridge resident shares his concerns about what could happen to his neighbourhood due to the west side's development plans.

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To the editor,

I agree with this letter that city council must include everyone’s view and careful consideration of how changes to city plans may negatively impact us. We also feel that those nearby residents in what council calls the Future Planning Area are being treated more favourably than us who live on the east side of Bainbridge.

We raised these concerns before, but we can now see for ourselves the disaster that is coming. How do we know? My neighbours and I attended the open house by Peterson/Create Properties on Feb. 2 on their plans for the west side of Bainbridge.

With the plan shown at the meeting, we can visualize the massive wall coming to the west side of Bainbridge. We understand future development proposals may vary, but there is no mistaking how bad this is for us.

I implore council to reconsider our designation to at least RM-3 (4-6 storey apartments). The urban village plan allows mid-rise buildings up to eight storeys on west Bainbridge on the north of Greenwood and six storeys south of Greenwood. How can this possibly fit with the maximum three-storey rowhouses on my side of the street? The city uses the term “terraced design” to somehow soften the impact of these building size discrepancies. Bainbridge is not a very wide street so will still be a large wall regardless of whether the upper parts of the buildings are setback.

I would add this type of major discrepancy will make the east side of Bainbridge undesirable. This will then result in poor acceptance by builders leading to many decades before it makes sense to assemble sites on our side. Us residents will be stuck to endure all the construction and traffic chaos that undoubtedly will come with re-development or we will be forced to sell our properties at below-market values.

I understand council’s vision is to provide more housing across every district in the city. But how does it make sense to carve out the Future Planning Area east of Bainbridge? If the properties along the east side of Bainbridge are only designated for three-storey rowhouses, this will make it almost impossible for the city to rezone the Future Planning Area in the future.

On Feb. 28th, council held a public hearing on this topic. We sincerely request the city to reconsider the east Bainbridge plan area. Instead, please be true to Future Planning Area and start this work now, which will need to include all properties on the east side of Bainbridge.

Only in this way can we be truly treated fairly so we not be caught between a wall to our west, and highly likely permanent single-family homes to our east.


James Vong
Bainbridge Avenue Resident