It’s hard to find someone who would prefer living next to a condo building than to a stand of trees or a couple single-family houses.
So while it’s tempting to criticize those who prefer their neighbourhoods not change as exhibiting typical not-in-my-backyard stubbornness, that’s probably not fair.
Residents of densifying neighbourhoods have legitimate cause to express concern. Their lives may change, noise and traffic may increase, views may shrink.
There may be benefits to come too – the continued profitability of a corner store, timelier buses, and the benefits that come from living in a more efficiently built city – but those are indirect and not so obviously tied to the increasing busy-ness of a street or area.
They can get criticized for ostensibly not listening when a project goes through over the objections of a neighbourhood’s residents, but Abbotsford’s politicians are right to place an emphasis on whether a proposal meets the goals of the city’s official community plan.
Individually, any one project may have limited positive effects, but collectively, they can dramatically improve this city.
But that’s the key.
That, obviously, will take time – and likely the commitment of multiple councils. But politicians both today and in years and decades to come must deliver on the OCP’s goals to justify the disruption and land use plans that focus growth in some areas at the expense of others.