Dear Editor

I am writing in to clarify some issues regarding land use in the valley. There are a variety of issues in the various communities, and Dunster is hosting meetings for anyone with concerns and solutions.

There was/is no singling-out of any one entity regarding land purchase, despite some recent references to same. One of the issues is that if a single individual, or a billionaire corporation, purchases extensive parcels of land and homes and then leaves them unoccupied, this depletes the land/residences available for people who would support local community functions and the local economy. Such activities place added stress on small communities such as Dunster, who rely on volunteers and have already experienced downturns in the economy. These events have lead to a depletion of the support base for community events, fundraisers, etc. There is no question that every individual is entitled to do as he/she wishes with his/her own land. It is the community that must seek to adapt to the changes, and that is what we are trying to do.

The issue was first addressed at the spring meeting of the Dunster Community Association. It was decided to open future meetings to include other communities in the valley. There were 35-40 people who attended the following meeting, from various valley communities. It was decided that a specific vision of the future was needed in order to develop solutions. For instance, in Dunster’s case: do we want changes to subdivision rules, for example, smaller acreages for market gardens or small lots for homes? And how do we create jobs in the area?

I would encourage anyone with issues or ideas/solutions to attend the next meeting in Dunster in September.

Chuck McNaughton