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A bad-smelling land-grab

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  |  Posted: Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 06:00 am

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Mayor Crouse,

I just wanted to let you know how very disappointed I am with you and the decision that most of the city councillors voted (Feb. 24) regarding the rezoning and resizing the school site in Erin Ridge.

I listened to your rationalization and justification for voting yes and paid close attention to your comments. One stands out: "Many other schools in St. Albert are built on drives."

That may be so, but there is a big difference in regards to Erin Ridge Drive. The other drives where schools are built look very different than Erin Ridge Drive in that they do not have big ticket, high density buildings within one block. They do not have a busy, high traffic regional hospital almost adjacent. Nor do they have a huge, three storey, high density seniors’ care complex a stone’s throw away!

Those other schools are basically the only large, high density structures built in their particular areas on their particular drives. They are located away from large business. So, how does adding another major structure – in this case a school – in an already congested area make sense?

Whatever happened to common sense planning and making decisions as if you were a longtime resident living beside or near Erin Ridge Park? Would you be happy with your decision? As council and knowing that a school was eventually going to be built at that site, why in heaven’s name then was the Citadel built almost across the street from the park? That's called proactive, futuristic planning?

It should have been a no vote for the Citadel! Why was the Coal Mine Road allowed to be closed? We asked you not to do that. It diverted traffic coming from the acreages and from using Erin Ridge roads. I just don't get it! Do big business and property developers dictate decisions and/or greater priority?

You and much of city council have lost my vote and confidence. There were other options. Yes, there would have been a few obstacles to tackle and revamping of proposals but it would have been a win-win-win for all the parties involved if only a little more time and creativity had been permitted. It had nothing to do with what type of school or who would be attending. All students deserve to be in a proper school in Alberta.

How unfortunate on many counts!

Judy Humeniuk, St. Albert


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