Opinion

LETTER: Waiving hearings won’t cure bigger problems

The bylaw proposed that public hearings be waived for downtown projects goes against the grain. Perhaps it is true that the only way for the Mission downtown to be revitalized would be if this seemingly undemocratic tactic is adopted. That doesn’t make it right, either, just expedient.

But it’s probably 20 years too late for any really meaningful redevelopment of the downtown core and that is a tragedy. It is a tragedy which has its roots in previous councils’ addiction to big mall projects and the photo-ops that those announcements afforded them. To say nothing about the occasional free lunches they provided.

Aren’t all those projects pretty, all shiny and new? Sure, unless you consider that to many people that shine is tarnished by all the now-empty stores and reduced overall employment within Mission that they have caused.

As for the downtown, even this unheard of move by Mayor Ted Adlem won’t cure the problems First Avenue has if bigger problems than inconvenient public input aren’t fixed.

Such as securing funding for a bypass around the downtown core is absolutely a priority.

As well as “gentrifying” the downtown by helping developers buy up smaller properties to build larger stores with medium-rise housing on top of them to create higher density, that will in turn push out the enablers of the street people.

There’s my public input, mayor and council.

Robert T. Rock

Mission

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