ROTHENBURGER: The ‘broken trust’ between City Hall and Rose Hill
THE TOP OF ROSE HILL is very different from what you might have seen the last time you drove up there. The area immediately south of the original subdivision — at the point Rose Hill Road makes a couple of sharp turns, crests the steep incline and levels out onto the farmland leading toward Knutsford — looks like a quarry right now.
The loss of fir trees on the site symbolizes the changes that have residents of the original subdivision worried. As they view the bare hillside above them, listen to the rock blasting and watch as nearby Juniper Ridge expands westward in their direction, they see the serenity of their community under threat.
The single-family area of Rose Hill was built during the ‘70s as High Country Estates (now commonly called Rose Hill or Rosehill after the larger grassland area up on the plateau), a secluded cluster of executive homes with spectacular views of the valley. Many of the big evergreen trees were kept. Country-style living close to town. It’s remained that way, a community all its own, until now.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Interestingly as I understand it, the local developers got this through city council, then sold it to a developer from Vancouver. Maybe that explains the removal of all the trees and flattening of ‘mountains’ to achieve a flat space for an urban neighbourhood, Who needs to see the view anyway, eh ??
Another issue of concern is the road to Rose Hill. . Not only will it continue to break down under the weight of the huge number of heavily loaded trucks that will needed to develop the infrastructure, not to mention building the 58 or so houses. But the congestion on the road will be terrible, with slow moving trucks heading up the hill, not to mention slow moving trucks using their jake brakes on the way down, all with few very risky passing zones.
It costs more to provide city’s services to Rose Hill…do they pay their fair share?
Preserving trees throughout development is cumbersome and not beneficial to the existing trees in the long run with root damage and sudden wind exposure. However having guidelines, parameters and a proper plan for re-introducing trees afterwards should be mandatory and properly monitored.
Will some wining and dining be sufficient to placate the grumbling? Could council forego their stipend and use the money to win back the masses’ trust? What about a week-long city-wide festa when Covid is over?
‘When the end is almost in sight the cloud of dust appeared’ has happened to many people in Kamloops. KGHM Ajax and pulp mill smell lurk, but limited road access and exit to subdivisions is waiting for a ‘Suez’ to occur.
So, this seems to be a case where folks invested in a place and spent a lot of their working lives paying for it expecting to enjoy a retirement in a place they have come to love. When the end is almost in sight, a hearing takes place and their dreams and a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice goes up in a cloud of dust.
If this ever happens to you, it will change your attitude towards development, I suppose.
Mr. Kwiatkowski is never wrong but perhaps has been, on occasion, interpreted incorrectly.