Editorial: More at stake than money

A story in our May 3 Business section about a Fraser Institute report, showed it had placed the City and Township at opposite ends of the scale when it comes to the efficiency of their development processes.

The City received high marks for moving the development process along more quickly than other Lower Mainland municipalities. The Township, by comparison, placed 16th out of 19 communities.

No surprise, the City was pleased with its rating. As the mayor pointed out ‘time is money.’

But that begs the question: why is money always the chief concern?

Considering the source of the report is the Fraser Institute, it comes as no surprise that finances are the main criteria, but it’s worth taking a moment to consider that when it comes to development, there are other important considerations

It’s a point made by letter writer Lorraine Baldwin, and it’s worth examining.

She suggests livability, should be given equal or better weight when it comes to assessing how effectively a community is developing. That includes planning for schools and green space, not just how many homes can be packed into the fewest square metres and how quickly it can be done.

Although the Township took issue with its low placement in the report, its situation is quite different than the City’s.

First, the City is all about redevelopment these days. It is confined to 10 square kilometres, which have long been built out, with land north of the Nicomekl designated for multi family development to replace aging houses.

With services already in place — though, granted most in need of upgrading — that process is going to be quicker than the greenfield development that is happening in much of the Township.

What the extra time it takes to plan and execute development in the Township gives that municipality is an opportunity to plan neighbourhoods that offer residents a richer life.

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