Village of Pemberton staff and residents are mourning a former planning consultant who is credited with having a big hand in Pemberton’s layout as seen today.
Michael Rosen, 57, died on May 13 after a short battle with cancer.
Rosen, whose services were called upon by the village for approximately 20 years until a permanent position was established in-house, worked intensively on a number of projects that shaped the town’s growth with a focus on establishing a strong downtown area. Though Rosen lived in the Lower Mainland, he worked with many smaller B.C. communities.
“He really did have a tremendous influence on the development of Pemberton, especially during the late ‘90s and early 2000s,” said Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy. “He really brought in the idea of enhancing a vibrant town centre and limiting commercial (space) at the highway.
“We had the potential for… having a highway strip-mall entrance to the village, but he really worked to limit that type of development and I have to commend him for that. It was the right decision in my mind.”
Manager of administrative services Sheena Fraser worked closely with Rosen for several years. Fraser described him as “a good friend” with a great sense of humour, noting that his influences are seen elsewhere within the village boundary.
“The Peaks and Pioneer Junction are two developments that came into being while he was planning consultant and he worked very hard with developers to make it work with the village’s vision at that time,” said Fraser, who added that building a sidewalk along Portage Road was another initiative Rosen championed while working for the village.
“He really did care about this community and seeing it come into its own.”