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Letter: New West residents 'lose out' on Columbia Square proposal

This letter writer believes the six to eight towers should include affordable rental units, but density could also be an issue.
Rendering of plan to build six to eight towers in New Westminster's Columbia Square Plaza for residential and commercial use. | City of New Westminster

The Editor:

Re: Changes proposed to massive downtown New West development (April 11, 2024)

This is a reprehensible decision on the part of our city councillors.

Columbia Square is prime real estate and there are not many other large sites like it in New Westminster.

To fail to include so-called "affordable" units in a rental market as inflated as ours is proof that our city councillors do not care about the people who live in New West as much as they care about money from developers.

I can understand that things are challenging for developers, but the role of city councillors is to stand up for citizens of this city, not make things easier for developers with deep pockets.

Shame on you, city council, for making this decision without so much as a report. This article noted that city staff were not even aware of the proposed value of the density bonus, which, if obtained, will still require these imaginary future rental units to be constructed by someone.

More work, more time, but the citizens of New West continue to lose out.

Is it any wonder so many people are choosing to leave this province when legislators continue to side with big money over Average Joe?

- Amanda Siebert, New Westminster