Letter to the Editor: Development between Pinewood and Happy Valley Questioned

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
October 20th, 2008

Dear Editor,

This past Saturday development began between the Pinewood subdivision and Happy Valley.

The trail connecting the two has been made off-limits to the public and the developer has said that seven lots will be cleared, though there is only approval for one or two show homes at this point in time. The developer also has a timber mark that enables him to log the property first, thereby circumventing his subdivision application of approval and the tree retention bylaw.

The developer’s plan at this time is for twenty one lots to be approved between Happy Valley and Pinewood. This concerns me both as a resident of Rossland and as a potential homebuyer for a variety of reasons. Affordable housing has become a dominant issue in this area.

I want to live in Rossland and will be looking to buy a house in the next three to five years. As a new graduate trying to pay off student loans and starting at the bottom of the pay scale, affordable housing will be the only option for me. For many others coming to live in Rossland, affordability of housing is a major factor in whether or not they can make a life here for themselves and their families. The last census indicated that Rossland’s population decreased by approximately 368 people between 2001 and 2006 (2006 Census, Statistics Canada,

http://www.bcmulticulturalprofiles.gov.bc.ca/imb_profiles/immigration/2006profiles/profiles/immigration%20profiles/Rossland.PDF ).

Many of these are young people like myself. As a community we want to attract young families and young people to ensure our economic stability and retain our social services. The lower job availability, higher seasonal employment, and fewer opportunities for higher paying jobs in our area are factors that should be considered in new development.

Young families and individuals cannot afford four and five hundred thousand dollar houses. As a result of this many will be forced to relocate to larger city centres in search of better paying jobs unless we develop affordable, high-density housing. This out migration of people will affect the vitality and service availability in
our community. Currently the high housing costs in Nelson have resulted in small businesses being unable to find employees as they cannot afford to live in Nelson and work at that wage. Rossland will not be able to attract young individuals and families to retain our schools, our small businesses, and our community with new development that is not affordable for these groups of people.

At this time the market is not conducive to residential development as the one proposed between Happy Valley and Pinewood. It is not nearly as easy to sell a house in Rossland as it has been in previous years. Selling a four to five hundred thousand dollar house is not an easy task in today’s market, and selling twenty may be nearly impossible. In the process invaluable green space will be destroyed and animal corridors will become even narrower.

As of this moment we stand to lose some very large and precious old trees which will increase our carbon footprint and decrease the natural beauty of Rossland. Furthermore, if this subdivision is created and is not sold, bankruptcy could leave us with a large parcel of greed-scarred land.

Is this the legacy we want to build for Rossland? Is this the legacy we want to leave for our children? Do we wish to have empty and outdated subdivisions in place of ecosystems and green spaces for all to enjoy? Please use your voice as a citizen of Rossland and oppose development that does not meet the current and future needs of our community.

Call Rossland City Hall 362-7396 or Evergreen Ridge development manager Dean Bulfone at 231-3000.

Rachel Brandvold
Rossland BC

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