In today’s Lethbride Herald, there was an article about a group of roughly 100 residents who oppose a developer’s plan to build a complex that included affordable housing, assisted living and condos.
Here was my response:
I read with interest your article entitled “Council to consider land-use change but Fairmont Park residents opposed” in the 12 February 2007 issue.
I was first encouraged by the article when I read that at least one developer in Lethbridge is interested in providing housing options other than single-family homes on individual lots. Given that our vacancy rate is 0.6%, our multi-family housing starts are at the lowest in seven years and average home prices are projected to increase at least $25,000 by year’s end, one would think medium-density housing would be welcomed.
Yet, unfortunately, many people are quite unwelcome to it as evidenced by 100 local residents opposing the development.
Given all the benefits medium- to high-density housing would provide our growing city, I do not see why people would oppose this. I do not see why people are willing to accept higher property taxes, greater infrastructure costs, traffic increases, more pollution and all the other negative issues that accompany urban sprawl. Not only would higher density housing alleviate all of the above problems, but it increases transit use, decreases property crime and promotes healthier living (via pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods).
And yet the only benefit to low-density housing is one is separated from one’s neighbour. Is it worth it?