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

August 2007 - Langley Advance

Have the constituents of Hon. [Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA] Rich Coleman heard of Riverview? Do they have any idea what is really there? Do they know what a loss this site would be to Coquitlam, B.C., Canada, and beyond?
This is not a bare piece of land, as Coleman would like to make it sound. This site is not simply green space, but an exceptional collection of mature trees that have been allowed to grow freely to their natural mature size and form, equivalent of a world-class arboretum.

On Friday, July 27, the Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA's surprise announcement felt to us how Fort Langley residents might feel if our MLA planned a high-density development in Derby Reach Regional Park.
Coquitlam council and the community have been part of the Riverview Task Force to create a plan for the site since 2003. Coleman's announcement is in total conflict with everything in the "For the Future of Riverview" report.
Cabinet minister Coleman has in one statement attempted to destroy 15 years of volunteer efforts to protect the site. The trees will not survive the type of development suggested. The density alone will destroy what makes those trees unique.
The unique potential of the site would be lost if market housing were developed. It would be like building high rises in the middle of Stanley Park before people knew what was there. It may be smaller, but it is no less valuable.