Red Gate Concerns

Dear Coldstream Concerns 

I read with interest, your editorial on the way in which the District of Coldstream treated the people in  Lavington, in particular the lack of notice and consultation. I had a similar issue with the actions of the  District as you described. 

I used to live adjacent to Kalamalka Lake Park. Now I live adjacent to a parking lot, a project that was undertaken with no direct notice to me until one week before construction started. That was when a  young man from Urban Systems, knocked on my door to tell me about the parking lot plans. My life was  about to be turned upside down.  

I was the only one to receive any notice of the Red Gate Parking Lot construction. None of my  neighbours did. They saw the construction fencing go up and a sign on that fence showing the new 28  car parking lot that was to be built in a few days. Informal discussions with the neighbours resulted in a request to appear before the Council. 

Our appeal to rethink the plans was made to the Mayor and Council on June 8, 2020, via ZOOM. Our complaint was discussed at the next Council meeting on June 22. Covid restrictions meant we could not attend or observe. Our appeal did not result in any changes to the planned works, just a 60 page report justifying the Districts actions. 

Below are photographs of my property before the parking lot and a comparison of what I must live with  now.  

Parking area before construction
Parking area after 28 stall construction

The District ignored the requirement for a buffer (recommended at 15m) to adjacent farmland as  required by the Official Community Plan. The Farm Protection Development Permit Area guidelines are  established to achieve the objective of providing clear separation between agricultural and non agricultural use. My property is zoned agricultural (ALR). As a result, my peace and privacy has become nonexistent. There are daily disruptions of people driving up my driveway, parked in my driveway and  vehicles turning around or pulled over at the bottom which send my dogs into barking frenzies. The parking lot is a popular place for meet ups, events and tailgate drinking… running right along side my  gardens and yard. Sitting on my deck provides me with a view of constant traffic in and out, the noise of car alarms and people coming and going. I went from no neighbours to a constant racket of revolving strangers and dogs so close I can have conversations with people parking right beside my garden. Did I  mention … my dogs bark all the time now. All. The. Time. I have had people walk up my driveway to help themselves to rocks from my wall to place under there RV wheels, people urinating in my driveway, a fellow helping himself to my produce as well as people using my driveway to get a better  picture of the deer grazing in my fields. The noise of the gates opening and closing in the early morning  hours and late night hours not only wakes me up with the clanking of the metal… it also gets my dogs  barking. Dogs have escaped their owners in the parking lot and come running through my property terrorizing my chickens and taunting my fenced dogs. The over flowing garbage can at the trail head  smells so bad at times, I can smell it while I am in my garden. I clean up garbage regularly that is tossed  from the parking lot. This could have been avoided if there had been a clear separation between my land (agricultural) and a non-agricultural land use such as a parking lot. 

A second effect of the project has been caused by installing a raised crosswalk on Kidston Road. The  disruptive noise of the constant acceleration and deceleration along with shifting loads at all hours of  the day or night is a nuisance, combined with the obnoxiousness of the parking lot… there is no peace and quiet. This was decided in a single closed door council meeting on June 22 with no regard to the  District’s Traffic Calming Policy or any consultation with the residents. 

Our neighbourhood group asked for this speed bump to be removed, even presenting a 76-person  petition on July 26, 2021, to Council. 

At the August 23, 2021, the Council voted against its removal. That motion was defeated by Mayor  Garlick, Councillors Hoffman, and Taylor voting against. Councillors Enns, Hoyte and Cochrane voted in  favour. Councillor Dirk was not present. A tie vote means the motion is defeated. 

Why couldn’t the crosswalk hump be removed, and a pedestrian controlled signal be installed? When  the Kidston multi use path was initially constructed in 2011 we had such a crossing light, but it was  removed very shortly after installation and relocated to the Kal Beach crosswalk. Coldstream District was  happy to allow nine years to pass with no lights or a raised crosswalk. Returning to such a pedestrian  controlled crossing, safety would have been improved and the nuisance of vehicles accelerating and  decelerating to the immediate neighbours virtually eliminated. 

Why did Coldstream ignore their own policy on traffic calming? Why were we not consulted on the  decision. I note the courtesy of at least two meetings with the residents of Westkal Road before  construction began in their neighbourhood. 

Coldstream Concerns, thank you for providing a platform that allows for citizens to participate in the  process and demand the accountability that we deserve. I hope that this letter will encourage our elected officials to listen to taxpayer’s views and be aware that their decisions can have unforeseen negative impact on its citizens. 



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