Free Press Aug. 27, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Free Press Aug. 27, 2013. Click to enlarge.

While a register will be open at City Hall on Aug. 29 for residents wishing to oppose a rezoning bylaw to turn the Griffith McConnell land on Parkhaven and Kildare into a residential area I strongly suggest that residents will be far better off with neighbours in townhouses and a condo rather than the current zoning.

In fact, I personally went door to door to speak with those residents facing and backing onto the site back in early July.  The vast majority agreed with the rezoning proposal. Most felt that their property values would increase with townhouses in the $500,000+ range.

I also arranged for a meeting of immediate neighbours and sent them a letter inviting them to city hall to meet with urban development staff as well as the developer. This was in addition to a second official information meeting on this subject at city hall and a public consultation on the matter.

The alternative to rezoning would be to leave the current institutional zoning and to allow the landowner to build an institution that would be far less desirable to the neighbours. With the current institutional zoning the law does not require any consultation with neighbours who would potentially have no say in the future use of the land. Also, the land and the dilapidated buildings could sit vacant for years to come.

The city insisted that the owner take into consideration the concerns of the neighbours with regard to the proposed townhouse/condo rezoning and we are pleased that the developer did indeed hear these concerns and make substantial modifications.