I am writing in regard to the proposed downtown plan that has had a second reading in council. As I understand it, the council has voted to implement Option 1 as proposed by the long-range planner pending a third reading on Oct. 24.
As I read it, Option 1 calls for low-cost, subsidized housing in a large area of the downtown core, the reason being that, and I quote, “families should have access to houses where they can walk to the stores and to work, as we will not be able to afford cars in the future.”
Do we not have a bus system in Vernon?
First of all, as a taxpayer in Vernon, I take exception to subsidizing the construction of houses in an area downtown where people are shooting up drugs on the streets both at night and in the daytime.
I would not like to see people with small families bring up their children in that kind of atmosphere. Would having small, subsidized houses take care of this problem? Could a family actually live in the size of houses that are being proposed?
Secondly, if this is a long-range plan, where does the council think that any future businesses could be located?
Surely you don’t think that Vernon will be the same in 20/30/50 years. Do you not think that by zoning the area west of 33rd Street between 32nd and 35th Avenues, as outlines in Option 2, would be a more farsighted plan?
Option 2 would allow for a multi-level building to accommodate stores and/or businesses on street level, offices on the second level, an apartments/condos above for persons working downtown.
It would certainly be easier for us who live away from the downtown core to drive to the parkade, and then visit a number of businesses within walking distance without having to skirt subdivisions or drive to other areas.
I ask the mayor and council to take another look at Option 2 and to show real leadership in opting for a truly long-range look to a future for Vernon.