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Council moves to prohibit bike parks in Gloucester and other existing residential areas

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 06:00 am

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Gloucester Park will not be considered for a bike skills park location in the future.

On Monday night, city council was set to address two motions: one to make sure no further consideration is given to placing a bike skills park in Gloucester Park, the other to preclude future bike skills park development in existing residential areas.

Coun. Gilles Prefontaine’s motion, which will keep a bike skills park out of Gloucester, passed unanimously without much debate from council, though Mayor Nolan Crouse did suggest that the motion wouldn’t be remembered 10 years from now.

“Think about the longevity of your motions,” he said, telling council the motion could have looked at updating the land use bylaw or other ways to embed the move in policy.

Coun. Cam MacKay’s motion to keep bike skills parks out of all residential neighbourhoods, however, caused a bit more of a discussion.

Crouse offered a friendly amendment to tack on a request for a land use bylaw amendment to that effect.

Then Prefontaine raised a concern that this would stop a developer from including a bike skills park as part of their designs in future St. Albert residential neighbourhoods.

The resulting discussion saw the motion split into two parts. The first half specified that all existing residential areas be precluded from future mountain bike skills park development.

“I brought this motion forward because they’re incompatible land uses,” MacKay said. “Any bike park development should be done away from residential neighbourhoods.”

Coun. Wes Brodhead said he thinks council heard loud and clear from the community that while they support the idea of a bike park, it shouldn’t be in a residential area.

Coun. Tim Osborne agreed, but said he’s concerned with the message being sent by council – he doesn’t want to give the idea that there’s something wrong with a bike skills park in general, or places where youth gather.

“I hope that we can spend some time moving forward on how we can become a bike-friendly community,” he said.

Coun. Cathy Heron said she would support the motion thanks to the addition of the word “existing.”

The motion passed by a vote of 6-1, with Crouse the lone vote against it. He’d raised concerns about the longevity of the motion.

The second motion asked that city administration put together a land use bylaw amendment, for council deliberation, that would preclude the development of mountain bike skills parks in existing residential areas. The motion passed by a vote of 6-1, this time with Osborne the only vote against it.


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