The opposition has been steady, and at times, with intense emotions on the side of those who wanted to ‘just say no’ to the redevelopment of a city park into a new, affordable, manufactured home development.
“To me, Ellis Granley Park was a huge, big space that had a lot of potential to be developed further as a park,” local resident Susan White said. “A lot of people feel strongly about green space.”
But Mayerthorpe, Alberta’s lady mayor had a differing observation.
“It’s a very appealing spot, the elevation there is high, there’s trees planted. It was just an inactive park and why, I don’t know,” said Mayerthorpe Mayor Kate Patrick told the Freelancer.
According to the Freelancer, the process of trying to preserve – or sell the land – has been in progress for over two years. The town considers the area to be under-utilized, and the park was finally sectioned off to begin redevelopment last week.
The cost to the town to develop it is lower than in other parts of the community, due to services being close by.
“There has been request to have this type of area in our town. Council is very positive that people will take interest in it and buy this up,” Patrick said. “There will probably be businesses coming in there starting next year and we’ll need more housing for this area.”
Mayor Patrick has said that they new manufactured housing area will not compete with other residential homes for sale.
Clearly, not everyone agreed.
Susan White and LaDonna Harris were among the staunch opponents to the plan.
“Parking was an issue, that could have been made easier, accessible,” said Harris. “Paths could have been created. There was lots of suggestions through the whole process over the last two years.”
While concerned residents had two public hearings to share concerns, Harris feels like they were not heard.
“Although we had opportunity to share our concerns, it seemed like they were going to do it no matter what anybody said,” she stated.
Mayor Patrick said that she’s heard from a number of people in the public that the town is moving in the right direction, although only two members of the public spoke in favor of the development. 13 named individuals spoke against the development.
“I just feel that the town did their best in engaging the public on this controversial issue that some have made it into,” said the mayor. “It was only a very minimal amount that protested it.”
It seems that NIMBY isn’t just in the U.S., it happens up north too. But in this case, as with Scott Robert’s of Roberts Resorts recent example, persistence and the right plan can achieve the goal of opening up more manufactured housing in a community. ##
(Image credits are as shown above.)
Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.