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Letters: Steveston storage plans need a re-think

A Richmond News reader has some very specific ideas about how to tackle the plans for a storage facility in Steveston
Local residents are dead-set against the building of a storage facility near this site on No. 2 Road

Dear Editor,

As some of your readers have recently expressed, two of Jimmy Pattison’s companies have applied for a development permit to construct a two-storey commercial self-storage facility at the foot of No. 2 Road, where it intersects with Dyke Rd.

This is a large lot that has been used to store old fishing equipment and machinery. It is also part of a growing neighbourhood, with new condos, shops, and restaurants. It’s a part of Steveston that we all enjoy spending time in and walking and cycling through.

While a storage facility would likely be welcomed by many nearby residents (storage space is at a premium), we also have some concerns about this application that we hope will be addressed by Council and the proponent before any approval:

1. Environmental protection – This site includes an Environmentally Sensitive Area that needs to be protected during construction and operation. This includes protecting riparian areas and waterways and preserving the large evergreen tree on site (which also gives aesthetic value to the neighbourhood). The design should also prevent water pollution from run-off.

2. Preventing light pollution – We need to protect residents and wildlife of this high-density residential area from ambient light pollution and preserve the night sky views for everyone over Steveston Harbour, Shady Island and London Landing. Any approved development should include a plan to reduce and prevent light pollution on the east end of Steveston Harbour.

3. Creating greenspace and community amenities – This site has grown wild in recent years, and despite being fenced off, provides a sense of greenspace. The final design should enhance this, and respect and highlight the maritime/estuary character of the neighbourhood. A mural (for example) and the creation of some accessible greenspace would improve the final design.

4. Traffic safety – The site is bordered on the east by a protected pedestrian/cyclist walkway on No. 2 Road, and on the south and western sides by the low-traffic Dyke Road (recently repaved). Traffic in this area needs to be managed and calmed to maintain safety, especially if self-storage customers are accessing the facility at different times of the day or night.

Jimmy Pattison companies have helped to enhance Steveston in the past, for example by commissioning beautiful murals on some of their properties I’m the village (side note: this also reduces graffiti). This building has the potential to improve our neighbourhood too.

We hope the company and Richmond Planning staff and Council work together to develop this important part of our community in a responsible way that improves Steveston, rather than taking away from it.

Andrew Frank