Walmart and West Cambie

This is a letter I sent to the Richmond News. (It wasn’t published.)

_________

Re “Walmart doesn’t fit West Cambie Area Plan,” Oct. 16, p. 8.

At the last council meeting, Richmond’s director of development explained how the Walmart store, planned at 160,000 square feet, is technically within the 100,000 square feet of retail floor plate specified in the West Cambie Community Plan.

(A huge mezzanine floor in the store plan accounts for the difference. In the proposal that’s online for the public, it’s almost impossible to spot.)

However, while checking that fact, I’ve confirmed that the proposed shopping mall as a whole is larger than one would expect from the community plan. That affects the plan’s goal of “a complete and balanced community” for the mall neighbourhood, Alexandra.

Michael Wolfe, who grew up in Alexandra and still calls it home, told that council meeting about its decline from being a happy family neighbourhood, hastened by the West Cambie Community Plan. I agree with him that the size of the proposed Walmart mall is not best for the recovery of the neighbourhood.

By the way, Michael Wolfe has been bringing the plight of the Alexandra Neighbourhood to council’s attention for years at meetings I’ve attended. As a professional teacher sharing his firsthand knowledge, he has been clear, but those who could help have not helped.

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