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Letter: CAN just wants best for community

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Aug 05, 2014 - 11:47 AM |
Re: City hall reporter Darren MacDonald’s July 22 column “Did activists hijack 2nd Ave. consultations?

I don’t think that Dot Klein and I object to being identified at times as activists, as implied in the headline of reporter Darren MacDonald in his Opinion piece of July 22.

However, with respect to the Ward 11 Community Action Network and Restoration Group, as the executive, we act on behalf of residents and citizens, as directed by the city to represent “social, environmental and economic areas” of concern in the community and not on our own behalf.

Two instances were cited as evidence of our activism — the roundabout proposed by the city for a new intersection of Bellevue Avenue and Bancroft Drive and Silver Hills Road and an eight-plex apartment building on Bancroft Drive.

These developments were opposed by 26 persons in one instance, and 40 in the other, represented by the CAN and Restoration Group.

Major concerns for the roundabout were the grade levels, which the city has acknowledged could be a problem, plus storm water runoff to Minnow Lake, which prompted an appeal to the OMB.

The eight-plex was opposed, as it was to have been a four-plex in a mainly single family residential area, but the city allowed an additional four units and permitted 12 parking spaces next to the lake, which prompted an OMB appeal with regards to potential environmental damage to the lake.

The CAN or Restoration Group has never opposed planned development, but only requested that environmental concerns be addressed.

This applies as well to Second Avenue Road reconstruction.

Representing the community, we came forward with possible alternatives, including different lane configurations and even a roundabout intersection.

The best the city could offer was a provision for bicycle accommodation on the paved snow collection area between the roadway and the sidewalks, retaining five lanes of traffic and an large intersection, creating additional storm water runoff to Lake Ramsey and bringing traffic and resulting emissions much closer to residential, playground and commercial areas.

Compromise is possible and desirable. What the compromise might be to address volume, safety and economy is the question that may be answered if the Ministry of the Environment directs the city to address this project in a proactive manner hopefully involving the community in the planning process.

To begin this process, we will be holding another public meeting Aug. 14 at the Canadian Legion Branch 76 on Weller Street in Minnow Lake, starting at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

John Lindsay
chair, Minnow Lake Community Action Network

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