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.

The Siverdale sham continues Dec. 22/08

A late item presented at Mission Council meeting Dec. 15/08 suggests Mission’s Director of Corporate Administration, Dennis Clark does not think much of 8 days of public input into the Silverdale bylaws.  Mr. Clark’s memo lays out a schedule for proceeding with approval of the Genstar phase one development beginning Dec. 22 at which time council will accept the minutes of the public hearing and proceed to 3rd reading of the proposal. The memo states, if council passes third reading, the proposal will be sent for external approvals including the Inspector of Municipalities on Dec. 23. The Inspector’s approval is needed to pass the 20 year legally binding phased development agreement (PDA) between Mission and Genstar/Madison.  Once the Inspector approves the PDA, Mr. Clark advises that council may proceed to adoption of the plan and the PDA.  What is missing in this memo is any mention of what to do if council DOES NOT pass third reading, what to do if council requests any additional information or CHANGES  to the plan on the basis of public input, or what to do if the Inspector does not approve the PDA.  Perhaps Mr. Clark has already decided for council and the Inspector that 8 days of public input from concerned citizens is irrelevant.  Perhaps Mr. Clark wishes to give Genstar an early Christmas gift.