Last week’s Coast papers were filled with vexed and vexatious letters from the “NIMBY” cohorts and the “open to economic growth” cohorts of Gibsons. I will attest to being a member of the latter. I work in real estate, so a healthy economy and a community that is open and welcoming to new families and new citizens are important to me, and not just for earning a living. I want to live in a community that doesn’t lose all of its youth, that allows a person when they get to a certain age to sell their larger home and buy a single-level, age-in-place home in the community they love. I don’t believe that pulling up the drawbridge once we have secured our million-dollar retirement home is generous, healthy or representative of the majority of our citizens. It is the prerogative of the few, but a vocal few indeed.
I represent the Eagle View Heights project in Gibsons (which is relevant here because once again the town of Gibsons is being sued by a vocal few who are resisting having new neighbours); no views are compromised. To defend against the suit brought by these few and apparently very well-financed neighbours, all Gibsons tax payers will foot the bill. Not exactly fair, but this is what a vocal and organized minority can accomplish, in pursuing their own self-interest.
But it is also worth looking at what else these few neighbours trying to prevent: an estimated $50 million investment in our community.
That investment means new jobs in multiple industries for the town of Gibsons. It means increased financial security, employment and growth for our retail sector. It means relieving the pressure on our scarce real estate and rental inventory. Perhaps more than anything, it means we are finally creating much needed single-level housing for our older citizens, so that they can age in place, giving them a home to buy when they sell their larger multi-level homes, and a safe, secure community in which to live out their golden years. It means supporting “all” income levels in our community, through the increased tax base that can be put toward services. It means having homes available for rental or purchase for families who wish to move here and raise their children in our beautiful and safe community. It means being welcoming and open – the kind of community we should aspire to be.
Tony Browton is an award-winning Realtor who lives and works on BC’s Sunshine Coast.
His weekly blog can be found here http://www.truebluerealty.ca/blog