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Opinion

The city is expending great capital to accommodate a developer while abandoning taxpayers,

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The debate over proceeding with the Molly Bannister Extension has raised many questions, left many with a feeling of abandonment.

The recent council meeting after decades of consultation, meetings, polls, requests for input, and with the result always being approximately 57% +/- in favor and 43% +/- against, it was brought as “too close to call”, “even split” requiring more input.

Quebec would have separated if it had achieved 50%+1 votes, and the consensus appears to be if the public had been at any time 50%+1 against the bridge, city council would have jumped at it.

Some have stated that they are against the bridge, no matter what. The poor taxpayer has no chance with these politicians. I was at first against the bridge ten years ago, but I have seen the costs and the damage to many lives, especially along 32 St.

The environment has been used as a scapegoat more often than not. Selective environmental concerns, is how I would put it. Where was the environmental concerns when we could have had the whole parcel on condition on keeping it a park or garden? Nowhere to be found.

Where was the environmental concerns in regard to the North-Connector bridge? Nowhere.

The plan would see 700 houses with the bridge or 750 houses without the bridge. How does adding 50 more houses backing onto Piper Creek increase park space?

We are heading into a public meeting where the council seems determined to abolish the bridge. A developer has lots of money and has an opportunity to make millions more. We are just homeowners and taxpayers trying to protect our homes, enjoy our lives and have everything to lose.

The biggest issue is the sense of abandonment by city hall. They seem to be going to extreme measures for this developer. Widening streets, Traffic circles. Pedestrian Bridge over 19 St. Carving up Sunnybrook to make a second entrance/exit point.

Under the pretense of environmentalism; making thousands of people per day drive an extra 4 kilometres, for generations to come. Burning fuel, and emitting carbons into the atmosphere so hikers, bikers and skaters don’t have to use a crosswalk.

How do we, average people, compete with a developer who socializes with planners and politicians? It is obvious that we will lose at the Public Hearing on October 26, or they will move another motion and extend the game.

I think they are counting on voter or taxpayer fatigue. Don’t count on it.

There is a municipal election and we might find it necessary to find candidates who “truly” represent the taxpayers.

Why do they keep attacking our homes? We don’t want millions in profits. We just want to enjoy our homes.

Political editor/writer and retired oilfield supervisor

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Opinion

Thoughts from Tom Chapman on keeping the Molly Banister Extension

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The Molly Banister extension should not be removed from the City plan for the following reasons:

  1. This street extension was included in the original development plan at the time of the Bower Centre Mall and the Bower subdivision, recognising the need to provide proper future access to the shopping centre and commercial developments both north of the Mall and on Gaetz Avenue, as well as the projected population growth in future eastern residential subdivisions.
  1. The City has continued to grow in those areas, with planning currently as far as 20th Avenue, and the need for increased access to the Bower Mall and neighboring businesses will continue.
  2. The current left turn access for westbound traffic to the Mall from 32 Street via 47th Avenue was opposed by many, and hotly debated by Council at the time. Clearly access via Molly Banister would take a traffic load off 32st., and 47th Avenue which was never designed to provide access to the Mall.
  3. If the extension is removed from the plan and the lands are converted to residential use the ability to provide proper access to businesses in Bower and on Gaetz Avenue will be forever lost, unless the City is prepared to go to the huge costs of a future expropriation.
  4. Unless there has been some changes to planning legislation, City development bylaws, or required standards, the developer is required to dedicate lands for all roads required for it’s development, as well as a percentage for park and playground areas.
  5. The Developer, with decades of experience in the City, would be well aware of this requirement in determining what it was prepared to pay for the land.
  6. Clearly, If the Developer can persuade Council to remove the extension this will result in housing development on the extension area, increased profit for the developer, and long term detriment of the City. A huge benefit for the developer!
  7. Currently 19th Street provides direct convenient access to Gasoline Alley to the detriment of City businesses and particularly the downtown. By eliminating the ability to develop the extension and push more traffic on to  19th Street the City will increase the attractiveness of Gasoline Alley for more businesses to develop there or relocate from within the City downtown and other areas, and will not take any pressure off 32 street. I would think that the Downtown Business Association should be concerned, as well as businesses along south Gaetz Ave.
  8. The next concern is 32 street. The City proposal to expand 32 street  would require six lanes over Piper Creek. Otherwise keeping it at 4 lanes creates a bottleneck that would restrict traffic flow and increase traffic on 47 Avenue. The impact of this expansion upon the value of adjacent homes cannot be underestimated.  Currently hundreds of thousand dollars are being spent to stabilize the current structure over Piper Creek. I prefer to an early start on construction of the extension and spending the money on a proper overpass of Piper creek on the extension route rather than expansion of the current overpass on 32  Street.

Removal of the Extension is a mistake!

Respectfully submitted

Thomas Chapman

I think it will be really important for your group to get strong representation from Bower Mall

which I think would be most adversely affected if the eastern access from 22 street to Molly Banister is eliminated.

I think they have always relied on the promised Molly Banister extension being built, and

I can’t imagine that they proceeded with the recent upgrades to the Mall without this in mind.

They may have had some discussions or assurances from City planners?

Also there are other businesses in the area such as Sim’s Furniture, new businesses in the

former Legion building and on Geatz Avenue which may have concerns.

One point I did miss is that the westerly end of Molly Banister leads to direct access to Taylor Drive

and this could take pressure off 32 Street.

Tom

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COVID-19

Question the COVID Status Quo

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This interview with Stanford physician Dr. Jay Bhattacharya was recorded September 14.

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