Battle against sprawl hits the Kootenays

Post by Mike Klassen in

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Cranbrook citizens will vote on sprawl November 14th

The citizens of Cranbrook, BC are going to the polls on November 14th in a unique fight over land use. To Sprawl or Not to Sprawl, that is the question. We here at have regularly made the crisis of urban sprawl a focus of our writing. We abhore sprawl, wherever it is taking place, and we would like to support the good people living at the southeast end of our province in their decision-making.

Of course, we hope the Cranbrook votes no on the effort to expand their city boundaries to allow for more sprawl development. The grassroots website spells out the arguments pretty well, but during difficult economic times and reductions in government funding, are people ready to make the tough decisions about their future?

There is no doubt, with developers pushing hard and making promises to bring short term construction jobs, that there is a strong temptation to support the move to expand the girth of Cranbrook. I don't know any of the players involved, but too often the perception is that a bunch of old hippies want smart growth, and the meat-eating truckers want car-oriented living. The debate over sprawl is not a left/right argument though. It's about the kind of future people want for their community.

CTV News here in Vancouver ran a pretty good report by Kimberly Davidson last Sunday night. While the individual story is not linked on their website, those who are interested can look at their Sunday night newscast (the story runs about 11 minutes in, after the Surrey monster homes story).

What is interesting is that the young landowner interviewed in the story, who is pushing for a new subdivision, is still threatening to build his development regardless of the outcome of the referendum vote. How's that for a good neighbour? "I don't care what the people say, I'll do what I want with this land."

We here at hope that the citizens of Cranbrook, BC, stand up for a more livable, better designed, and walkable community. Let's keep our fingers crossed on November 14th for them all.

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