Ladysmith council recently passed a bylaw that will see a gravel walkway be constructed at the Westdowne Road Industrial Property.
The purpose of the bylaw is to amend the urban industrial road standard contained in the Subdivision and Development Bylaw to a rural standard for the South Ladysmith industrial area, including Westdowne Road.
The new rural standard format contains a pavement, gravel walkway, ditches, overhead wiring and community water service.
Although the bylaw passed, councillors Gord Horth and Glenda Patterson voted against it.
Horth in particular was vocal in displaying his concern about the lack of presence of a sidewalk.
“I am reluctant to lessen our standards, and I wouldn’t want to lose a sidewalk,” he said. “This is a pretty small compact town and we shouldn’t relinquish pedestrian safety. I wouldn’t want to go that low.”
Coun. Duck Paterson stated to Horth the new gravel walkway lined up would act as a sidewalk and “not eliminate pedestrian access.”
Horth wasn’t buying it.
“We’re building a first-class recycling centre down there and so there’s more people going down there. A gravel walkway isn’t as convenient for the elderly, and we don’t have as many sidewalks as we should have,” said Horth.
Mayor Rob Hutchins didn’t see the need for a sidewalk.
“Our recycling centre is the biggest in the district but people don’t carry their recycling — they travel with it in their car,” said the mayor. “I don’t see the need for a sidewalk. There is opportunity for additional trails as well.”
Coun. Jillian Dashwood didn’t have any problem passing the new bylaw.
“A 120-foot sidewalk in an area where growth is not exponential doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see us needing sidewalks down there.”