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Erin Ridge residents flag consultation process

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Saturday, Jan 25, 2014 06:00 am

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An Erin Ridge resident is concerned that steps were skipped in the public consultation process regarding the application that would rezone all of Eldorado Park as a potential school site.

Bill Van Hoof sent an email on behalf of the Erin Ridge Residents’ Action Committee and presented at city council on Monday in advance of the public hearing on Jan. 27.

“The city’s policy on this type of amendment clearly states that, as a minimum, a public meeting must be held before an application is made by the developer,” Van Hoof said, continuing on to note there was currently no signage on the site or an open house.

Van Hoof told council the public meeting and open house are crucial.

“The residents of Erin Ridge have not been provided with any information or consultation on the proposed development,” Van Hoof said.

On Jan. 27, a public hearing is scheduled to be opened on an amendment to the Erin Ridge area structure plan to redistrict the park so the school could be placed anywhere on the site. The application comes from Alberta Infrastructure.

Currently the school site is regulated to the northeast corner originally designated to host the site in the area structure plan. Answering questions from council on Monday, city manager Patrick Draper said if the redistricting application doesn’t get passed by council, the school will stay on that northeast corner site.

Both Van Hoof and Murray Lambert, another member of the Erin Ridge Residents’ Action Committee who spoke Monday, raised concerns the application means the school footprint could grow.

“The absurdity is that the provincial government apparently, if you will excuse the expression, wants the whole enchilada,” Lambert said.

Interviewed prior to Monday’s council meeting, Carol Bergum, the city’s director of planning and development, said some of the steps outlined by Van Hoof in his email are not mandatory because of the minor nature of the change.

“According to our policy the public consultation on ASP (area structure plan) amendments is at the discretion of the director of planning and development and not mandatory. This particular amendment is very minor in nature because we’re not changing really the use,” Bergum said. Instead the amendment gives the flexibility to place the school in a more advantageous way for traffic flow issues if needed.

“We’re not changing the nature of the plan itself and the use on that site, between the park and school, is not changing. It’s just making the whole park a combination park school site,” Bergum said. “It doesn’t mean the school is going to take the entire site.”

The city council policy on public consultation requirements for planning and development processes does note public consultations put on by the developer or the city can be required for proposed amendments to area structure plans at the discretion of the director of planning and development.

The minimum requirements for public consultation that includes public meetings and an open house are for “major” amendments. Bergum said this amendment application is a minor one.


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