CAUSS (Citizens Against Urban Sprawl Society) believes that any development in Mission should be sustainable. Sustainability requires careful consideration of environmental, social and financial impacts. Sustainability requires that the decisions we make today do not compromise the options for our future. Development that threatens our ability to obtain safe and affordable food, clean air and clean water is not sustainable. Development that inflates housing prices to the point where long-term residents can no longer afford their own taxes is not sustainable. Development that requires more money for infrastructure than Mission can afford is not sustainable.
All current residents of Silverdale rely on wells for their water. Despite this, there has been no quantitative scientific study on the impact of the development on residents’ wells and critical groundwater aquifers have not been included in the environmental base map.
The development has been projected to double the population of Mission. Abbotsford Mayor Ferguson was quoted in the Abbotsford Post that if Mission’s population doubles as a result of the Silverdale development, Abbotsford and Mission would run out of drinking water. A major water shortage would be costly to all Mission taxpayers and the District of Mission Council is unsure of what the total tax implications would be.
Food and agricultural land
Many residents are concerned about removal of prime farmland from the Agricultural Land Reserve at the base of Silverdale for industrial and/or commercial development. These lands are amongst the most fertile in BC and ensure a safe local food supply to Mission residents now and in the future. Mission council has supported exclusions of these lands to help finance the massive infrastructure costs of residential development.
Urban Sprawl in the Fraser Valley has lead to worsening of air quality with health consequences to thousands of people. Children in Chilliwack are at a higher risk of developing asthma, and this has been linked to poor air quality. The development of Silverdale could add another 20,000+ cars to our roads, and will remove the tree canopy which functions to clean the air. Car dependent communities contribute to higher CO2 emissions and climate change.
Massive increases in property taxes threaten to displace many long-term residents. The cost to hook up to city water can be upward of $20,000.00/household. Mission is currently one of the most affordable communities in the Fraser Valley but this too will change due to the influx of speculators investing in development hotspots.
Finances- see Financial Impacts