August 2007

Housing Minister Rich Coleman's plan for a massive real estate development on the Riverview Hospital grounds is short-sighted. When he talks about thousands of housing units it's as if he were talking about bare land. Riverview is the antithesis of bare land. Coleman says he has toured the area. One would think that he could visualize something quite different than high-density housing on this beautiful site, such as those ideas put forth in the 2005 Riverview Task Force Report, which has been ignored. The Tri-City area is already providing housing density in Coquitlam Town Centre, downtown Port Coquitlam and Port Moody's north side.

The Riverview Horticultural Centre Society has always, and will always, support the needs of the mentally ill at Riverview, but is strongly opposed to market housing on the site. The grounds contain an exceptional collection of mature trees that have been allowed to grow freely to their natural mature size and form. We need to retain what little green space we have left in the Lower Mainland.

Riverview should be retained as it was originally planned, a therapeutic space and sanctuary for the mentally ill and the public.

Donna Crosby,
Riverview Horticultural Centre Society

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