Council approves third reading of Silverdale bylaws

Despite 8 days of public input, most of it opposed to the development plan and 20 year legally binding Phased Development Agreement with Genstar, Mission council rammed through approval of 3rd reading of all 3 Silverdale bylaws Dec. 22/08 with minimal discussion and no changes.   Council’s attempt to justify their disregard of any criticism of the plan was blatant and bizarre.   The mayor and some councillors claimed that public concerns should have been submitted before the hearing implying that the hearing was too late to make changes.  Clearly this claim fails to appreciate the purpose and importance of having a public hearing.  Councillor Stevens attempted to rationalize council’s failure to address residents’ concerns about groundwater with the claim that Genstar will bring city water to the area, ignoring the impacts on area residents who will not receive any city water for decades.  Councillor Stewart stated that the environmental studies were “good enough”, ignoring multiple reports and concerns by provincial and federal environmental ministry scientists who both warn that the current plan poses unacceptable risks to the fish and wildlife of the area, some of which are endangered. The mayor shocked many with the statement that acreages are not wanted in Mission confirming that current rural residents are in for hard times. Planning for Silverdale, once touted by council as innovative and progressive, is now being described by council as “good enough”, negating any opportunity to address issues revealed at the public hearing proactively.   Instead, a multitude of costly problems arising from council’s reckless disregard for the public interest and its willingness to accept good enough sprawl for environmentally sensitive Silverdale, will no doubt be the final legacy of a tainted process directed by biased decision makers.