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Letter: Does Anmore really need an 'environmental Disneyland?'

Writer says they'd be "helpless" without someone taking charge of revitalizing a community but believes the local government should step in and show "local spirit."
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An artist's concept of what life could look like in Anmore South when the 150-acre property is developed.

The Editor,

Did you know that what is local is key to the democratic spirit? Civic mindedness is what makes a citizen, but Anmore’s mayor and council are unable to foster this local spirit — except by generating opposition to their ideas. The notion of redesignating Anmore South (now a “special study area”) from rural to urban in order to create a “complete community in nature” amounts to nothing more than a total con job. There’s a colourful 26-page brochure that landed in many Anmore mailboxes to prove it.

The 150 acres of Anmore South is owned by Icona Properties, which (as we all know) “is closely connected to the story of Anmore’s past, present and future.”

Yes, it all began way back… in 2014 when an executive “who grew up in Vancouver” (wow, that’s really something!) “joined the company” that owned the Ioco lands (again, such a deep connection). I am awestruck by the “enlightened” sense of “vision” and great “mission” of Icona that it takes upon itself the “stewardship” of our community.

Yes, I would feel helpless without Icona, which does not stoop to fear-mongering. Of course, all our septic systems are going to fail (presumably at the same time) so we must build a new water supply, for all, at any cost. If we develop as Icona plans, we won’t have to worry about Port Moody cutting off our water.

Instead, it’s better not to build friendly relations with Anmore’s closest neighbour, because, once Icona is underway, Port Moody will want to cut off our water in reaction to all the added traffic on Ioco Road.

Does Anmore really need a library, when there’s already one in Port Moody, two in Coquitlam, and one in Port Coquitlam, and something called inter-library loan? Do we need to tear down another forest so I can relocate to "age in place?" Are they “expansive trails for walking and hiking,” or are they expensive trails for walking and hiking (and who is going to maintain them)? Are Icona’s “world-class building innovation, material and technology” really conducive to a “wider range of housing options?”

The sarcasm would not be dripping if matters weren’t so funny. Everyone purports to have common sense, but it is clearly something lacking in the planners behind the Icona project, who intend to build a kind of environmental Disneyland without proper road access. My suggestion is to refer Icona to Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, who might have some words to say concerning insufficient emergency road access — and horrific traffic.

So, give me fresh air. Democracy must be built from the bottom up, from the specific to the general, and not by corporate executives with their communications team. 

It’s time Anmore council gets a lesson in civics.

- Joerge Dyrkton, Anmore

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