To the editor:
Re: "New tower provides West End rent relief," Letters, July 6.
Blair Petrie, again, presents as a cheerleader for developers with his enthusiastic support of the skyscraper just approved at 1401 Comox St. (former St. John's Church). He also publicly sanctioned, in 2009, the destruction of centuryold Maxine's (Bidwell and Davie) in return for saving a wall for heritage and providing 49 tiny market-rental STIR units to allow rezoning for a 20-storey luxury condo tower. As a result, Millennium (Olympic Village developer) saw an instant increase in land value of over $8.6 million, all while paying no community amenity contribution, stealing views and sending the neighbours into shadow for generations.
With this latest loss for the West End at 1401 Comox, developers Westbank/Peterson, despite heavy public opposition, achieved an almost five-fold increase in permitted floor area, overriding zoning and development guidelines to build a 22-storey STIR market-rental tower where zoning permits six storeys. Petrie saying this building "fills a gap" adds to the hollow, unfounded chorus supporting bad development- the West End has seen over 800 market rental units built in the last 15 years. The only "gentrifiers" here are developers, municipal enablers and density cheerleaders. This latest betrayal of the public interest is a vivid example of the assaults to democracy at the municipal level.
Greg Helten, Vancouver