Re: Article “Lo-Ellen residents square off against Dalron,” which appeared in the April 17 edition of Northern Life.
I would like to continue the discussion that reporter Arron Pickard’s excellent article presented.
The people of Lo-Ellen Park are asking that proper planning principles be applied to the proposed project by Dalron. Flooding and traffic issues that are of great concern to local residents must be resolved before the situation is made worse. Facts must prevail above wishful conclusions.
People want staff to use the planning act and the Healthy Community Initiative to defend green spaces that have important ecological value and enable citizens from around the city to participate in active living. We want the process of civic engagement to have impact.
In this development, the road and homes are extended onto the watershed of Bennett Lake, a unique, unspoiled, scientifically important lake, to the flood plain.
This watershed area is also the piece that connects trails around Bennett Lake, a well-used area for outdoor activity with potential for much more if the area was protected.
As citizens we respect the right of the private landowner. Our city councillor, Frances Caldarelli, had approached city staff in December 2011 to undertake negotiations to help the city acquire the watershed at fair compensation.
Knowing that the developer bought the 40-acre parcel at the low cost of around $11,000 per acre, and that we needed only seven to 10 acres (undeveloped area plus about seven lots), we felt that it was logistically possible to arrange a combination of money and land as trade.
For us, we see a developer willing to severely damage a unique inner city lake and beautiful trail system for the sake of seven lots. Unwilling to negotiate.
We experience a planning process that does not produce the priorities mandated by council through its Healthy Community Initiative — sustainable development that includes active living, protection of the natural environment and effective civic engagement.
Citizens from Lo-Ellen, as those from other neighbourhoods, are asking for a better Greater Sudbury.