Letter to the Editor: Right of Way selling ill-advised

I was interested to read that the City of Prince Rupert proposes selling Right of Way land at what appears to be a 92% discount to market

Editor:

I was interested to read The Northern Connector of Jan. 15 that the City of Prince Rupert proposes selling Right of Way land at what appears to be a 92 per cent discount to market.   The view land in question, part of a Road Right of Way connecting the end of Graham Avenue with Prince Rupert’s Fairview foreshore area, is offered for sale by the City at $21,000 for 0.08ha to Bryton Group Onceanview Condominiums Ltd.  Land value of lots in the area is assessed at an average of $31 per square foot.  With 107,639 sq. ft. in a hectare, the proposed sale price is less than one-tenth of the area’s assessed value.

The stated reason for the sale of part of the Right of Way is to provide the Bryton Group with a utilities corridor for a two-lot condominium development proposed for the Graham Avenue area. And yet, any utilities that a proposed development might access run under Graham Avenue on the side of the development lots opposite to the Right of Way lands being offered for sale.  Adding the area of the Right of Way to the land already owned by the Bryton Group might allow the developer to add more units to their proposed development.

The logic of the proposed sale is odd to say the very least. We go to all the trouble and expense of creating zoning bylaws to assure density and development appropriate to a single-family residential area for a reason.  The reason is to preserve the value of the neighbourhood.  Not to sell it off at firesale prices.

I urge area residents to write the mayor and council and turn out to oppose the sale of the Right of Way at the council meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25.  The Right of Way has importance to the Graham Avenue neighborhood because it preserves city-owned access to the foreshore.

If development goes ahead on the parcel at the very end of Graham Avenue, and if this section of Right of Way is sold off by the City, the area’s direct access to the waterfront could be lost.  For a neighborhood of people who have made their lives by the sea, this is a travesty.  We’d rather buy the land ourselves to keep it wild for foreshore access, as a natural buffer to port noise, and as habitat for the area’s wildlife.

William Spat, Prince Rupert