City could halt Kingswood park plans
Special council meeting called for Monday
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 06:00 am
Council’s plans to amend the area structure plan (ASP) for Kingswood to allow development of a park could come to an abrupt halt at a special council meeting called for Monday.
On June 25, Coun. Cathy Heron served notice of motion for administration to stop all work on the Kingswood ASP amendments. With little time for council to consider the issue before it breaks for the summer, a special meeting was called in conjunction with Monday’s standing committee on finance meeting.
Heron brought forward the motion following a June 19 open house about the proposed ASP changes that both she and Mayor Nolan Crouse attended. Approximately 100 people also showed up to express their displeasure with different parts of the proposed amendments.
“The people there were very disgruntled and unhappy,” Heron said. “At first they were angry with council, saying stay out of the business of the developer and let them live in the ASP they bought into,” Heron said. “I totally understand and I hate changing it.”
The changes to the ASP were designed to allow the development of a centrally located park, as identified in the original ASP. But Canterra objects to a school site adjacent the park because it does not want to see a high school built in the area.
The speculation has been that the Greater North Central Francophone Education Region No. 2 would build a high school there.
“The ASP isn’t designed for a school site,” said Ryan Brown of Canterra. “If the threat of a high school site was removed, we would turn over the land tomorrow.”
Heron has been council’s biggest proponent of getting the park developed, but Canterra has refused any action towards that end until the issue of the school site is addressed.
The changes to the ASP involved moving the school site closer to Campbell Road, away from the park site. The city would have been the ASP proponent.
Brown said high schools need arterial roads because of heavy traffic in and out of the area. He expressed concern for residents’ safety if a high school were to be centrally located.
“The fact is [the high school] is going to be servicing a large, rural area and that guarantees there will be a lot of individuals who are young, inexperienced drivers in the area,” Brown said. “I’m sure you can appreciate our concern for the safety of our residents.”
If Monday’s motion passes, administration will stop all work on the ASP as proposed, effectively reverting the situation back to square one — with the city wanting development of the park and Canterra objecting to any high school construction near it.
“I think this brings us back to square one unless we can have a good productive meeting with Canterra,” Heron said. “Maybe there can be some compromises.”
But until this issue is settled, Canterra will have a hard time getting city backing for any future projects.
“I do know the city will probably not grant that developer another subdivision application until they develop the park,” Heron said. “I think they’re aware of that so the entire area is at a standstill.”
Brown says it’s unfortunate the issue has become so complicated.
“We really want the park site in the middle of the community as well.”