Community hall land is good, but it’s no gift

Re: Rezoning inches Highlands toward a community centre, News, March 8, 2012.

Re: Rezoning inches Highlands toward a community centre, News, March 8, 2012.

This article, as have previous articles, incorrectly refers to the transfer of property from Highlands resident Fred York to the District of Highlands as a “gift.”

The land was not a gift. It was an amenity for rezoning. As the article states correctly, York “gave the land to be used for a community hall in return for subdividing his remaining land into 11 lots.”

This was, in my opinion, a fair exchange, conferring valuable benefit to both sides — nine additional lots to York that he can develop on his remaining property, land for a community hall to Highlands. But a gift is the transfer of something from one party to another without consideration; a negotiated exchange is not a gift.

The province enacted legislation enabling amenity rezoning nearly 20 years ago in part so that small communities such as Highlands can receive benefits, such as land for community purposes, to offset some of the detriment development brings to a community, such as increased traffic, decreased privacy, increased environmental degradation and so on.

I wish that all rezonings in Highlands were conducted with the spirit of co-operation and commitment to mutual benefit that is evident in this one.

Pattie Whitehouse




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