Monday, 16 May 2011

It's not that I'm passionate, it's more that I'm scared...

A few people have wondered why and how is it, that I have taken on a job that no one asked me to do, to devote so much time and energy over the past year engaged with community issues.  The answer is disarmingly simple, but for those who revel in conspiracies and are suspicious the simple answer will never suffice.  
At different points in my life I have stopped to reassess and reevaluate my life and ambitions.  It has usually turned out to be a fruitful exercise.  Several years ago I began to question how I myself wanted to live in the coming 15 years.  That thinking eventually brought me to the point that i am at today, and the comments below that will be read at the OCP Public hearings.  The surprising thing was, when I actually arrived at this point, I found out I wasn't alone...

Go to the "Gateway Voices" page on this site to read additional letters from some of your neighbours.

May 16, 2011  Comments for OCP Public  Hearings
Comments to Mayor Walton and District of North Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor and Council,
RE: Public Hearings / Bylaw 7900 / 2030 Revised OCP / May 16, 2011

For many years, I like most of my neighbours living in the Lions Gate neighbourhood, stalwartly fought against any development proposal for the former Capwest site.  These proposals, invariably presented to us by sombre men in expensive suits, felt off.  The plans seemed to beckon more to something appropriate to Surrey or Delta.  Exactly what we did want I was never quite sure of myself – it was largely sufficient just to be against something.

As the years have gone by there has been a change in thinking – a change of context and awareness cutting across all levels of stakeholders, planners, municipal officials and administrators, and to a varying degree, residents.  The current OCP process has brought the awareness and opportunities of this thinking right down into our neighbourhood. 

From my personal perspective, this change coincided with changes in how I began to view my immediate life, the manner in which I lived and to what extent I was prepared to do anything about it.   
It has been an extraordinary and at times difficult journey for me.  It has immersed me in a wider understanding of the complexities of building a workable community that works for people across a wide range of ages, and economic backgrounds.

 It has been infinitely rewarding to the degree that many people have joined together to embrace the prospect of a renewed neighbourhood.   It is tantalizing to contemplate an integrated neighbourhood that allows neighbours to celebrate where they live and extend an emotional investment into that place.

These promises of renewal also come with the awareness that we cannot continue to blithely move into the next 30 years in the same manner as we did the past 30 or 50 years.  There is a bill coming – a bill not just for the hard economics of sewer pipe and road repair, but a larger bill for the planet and the social fabric of our urban life.

I for one, do not want to be asked, at some time in the future, what I did to help change some of what we know we need to begin doing and offer nothing but a mumbled shrug.  This OCP plan is a first step to start doing something and even this is the very least we should be asking ourselves to do.

I ask you to take on the role of true leadership and pass the OCP into bylaw.
Thank you.

Douglas Curran                                

No comments: