Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Residents mobilize against condo plan
About 50 Charleswood residents gathered April 15 to discuss the possible formation of a residents’ association and to sign a petition against a proposed new condo project that could be built behind their homes.
"Really what we’ve got to do is get more people involved, obviously, and to get what we know (about the project) out and the concerns we have out," said group chair Wayne Lucas, a Polaris Avenue resident.
In March, it was learned the Charleswood Red River Masonic Lodge is looking to build a 65-unit life lease 55+ facility behind the Charleswood United Church on a small piece of aspen forest between Buckingham and Dieppe roads, and Polaris.
Residents at the meeting, held at the Charleswood Curling Club, touched on outstanding and unanswered concerns from an April 4 open house — the scope of the project, its impact on surrounding residences and local taxes, and increased traffic through a residential area with a busy elementary school right next door.
Lucas believes the Charleswood masons want to do good, but that the project is ill-conceived.
"I think people are thinking the Charleswood masons are going to be building something very good for old people. And that’s honourable. But it shouldn’t be at the detriment of other people’s property," he said.
"That’s what they have to be very careful of and I don’t think they were. I don’t think they thought it through."
Residents at the meeting stressed they are not opposed to developing the land.
"Unless we were prepared to buy all of the greenspace in Charleswood, we can’t object to people developing," said Darlene Boettcher.
Boettcher, who lives on Buckingham south of Eldridge, wondered if the church sought out other expressions of interest for developing the site. She suggested residents work with the church on an alternative plan that could work for the site.
"I don’t think it’s the residents’ job to come up with an alternative development plan, but I think if they showed a willingness to work to develop something else" a compromise could be found, she said.
Following the meeting, Buckingham resident Jim Cannon said the session helped get residents on the same page.
"My concern is that discussion between the city and developer and the masons have been going on for a while and they’ve made so much progress and moved so far forward towards developing this that we’re going to have a tough time fighting it," he said.
"But if we get more organized and get as many people as possible and get a more formal group together, we might be able to beat it."
Though the association is being formed as a response to the development, Lucas said he would like to see it maintained once the fate of the project is decided.
It would help residents identify other parcels of land in the community that might be developed, and allow residents to be proactive with their concerns rather than proactive, he said.
"I would like to keep it up," he said.
More The Metro
More The Metro
(1 of 10 articles for this week)06/19/2013 1:00 AM 0