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Letters to the Editor

19 Mile fall-out, condo owner speaks out, wonders of WAG, chess comments, Middle East perspectives, apologies, and good-byes.


Too harsh on 19 Mile

Re: The guilty and the greedy (Maxed Out July 27)

Lots of venom in your piece on disgruntled resident housing owners last week. I think you were too harsh with the 19 Mile, Beaver Flats and Bear Ridge residents.

I sat in the seat behind you at the 19 Mile public hearing eight years ago. An abandoned gravel pit at the entrance to Alpine Meadows well serviced by public transport and adjacent to sports facilities, high school and convenience stores, seemed to us, an ideal infill location for resident housing. The hearing was peppered with successive rants and threats from neighbours who said or alleged some very nasty stuff in the hope resident restricted housing would not be built anywhere near their homes. Your heartfelt piece in the next Pique clearly exposed the ludicrous nature of the mob’s single minded, selfishness and helped the council of the day resolve to stand up to the opposition and approve 19 Mile. The NIMBY opposition faded on this and future projects. You were a large part of turning the tide with resident housing.

Eight years later word gets to the Smoking Dog Ranch that 19 Mile and other owners are "bitching" and trying to better their situation. This follows Barnfield matters. You get Smoking Dog Max mad, the computer keys hum. "Greed," "Profits," "Shamefully greedy whiners trying to weasel out of their commitments."

The letter to the editor in last week’s Pique by Chris Hodkinson "Forum hijacked by Barnfield owners" is worth a read. I distanced myself from direct Barnfield dealings a long time ago and have been asked not to comment on specific issues of Barnfield before the courts. I can say, however, many Barnfield owners’ comments at the forum seemed more to inflame the situation rather than explain the specifics of issues being dealt with or to help find a resolve for those issues.

The 19 Mile, Beaver Flats and Bear Ridge owners bought their homes with a GVRD based index. The logic, at the time, was for them to receive the same return as a comparable townhouse owner in Greater Vancouver, not the significantly higher inflation of townhouses in Whistler where a bed cap severely restricted new housing supply. These owners could leave Whistler and buy a comparable townhouse in, say, Burnaby but would not get typical Whistler increases. The Vancouver market took off and the 19 Mile owners received unexpected and unplanned increases in the maximum value for which their homes can be sold. The WHA is seeing reluctance from those on the waitlist to offer maximum allowable prices for 19 Mile units. Should the Vancouver index continue its rapid growth, trades in this housing will be below the maximum allowable prices. This is especially so if new Rainbow and athletes’ village units are less expensive.