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Proposed Sale of Public Park Land

This is to inform you of what is happening in regards to the proposed sale of park land up the escarpment (adjacent to the Evamy Ridge formal park) to the southwest of the community centre.

This matter has been brewing for many months so it is not a new file.  However, there have been some recent developments that you should know about.  There was a report on Global February 17.  It probably will become more public in the next month or two.

Don Taylor owns three properties in Mount Royal adjacent to the subject park land (638 and 642 Hillcrest Ave SW and 2224 Hope St SW).  His intention is to consolidate the three properties and build one large house.  As you know there was a major escarpment stabilization project during the last couple of years.  As part of that project, a survey was done.  That resulted in the formal discovery of the encroachment of 638 onto public park land.  This parkland is in Cliff Bungalow – Mission.  The house properties are in Mount Royal.

Thus both community associations have been involved in this process.  The word process is overstated as there is no public community engagement by the City.  The discussions between the City and the landowner have been private.  We learned of it through the escarpment process.  We have met with City administration and Mount Royal jointly.  We have communicated clearly to the City, our former Alderman and current Councillor that we are opposed to this sale.  Mount Royal has done the same thing.  Mount Royal has dedicated a lot of time to this file and held an informational meeting last December 9th which we advertised through e-mail and on our website.

We met with Mount Royal people on February 6 at the site.  What impressed me is that this is a very large parcel of land.  It is flat and would be a great public space (technically it still is).  A compromise has been offered by the land owner.  At our Planning and Development Committee meeting on Wednesday, February 12, we confirmed our opposition to this sale.

In the March 2013 issue of the newsletter, we published an article on the matter noting the direct conflict with the Cliff Bungalow Area Redevelopment Plan.  I was interviewed by CBC television where I stated our opposition to the sale.  In the February 2014 issue of the newsletter we published another article stating our opposition on the sale.  So our position is well known and has not changed.

The recent development is that Don Taylor sent a letter (attached) to Mount Royal CA and through them to us.  We have learned that this letter is being delivered to some parts of our communities.  It attempts to “sell” their idea of a compromise deal.  From our perspective it is not acceptable.  Mount Royal has prepared a letter (attached) that will be delivered by volunteers.  The purpose is to provide our side of the issue.  We attach both letters for your information.

This matter probably will be going to City Council’s Land and Asset Strategy Committee on February 27 or March 20 and then onto Council for a decision. You might consider writing a letter and/or sending an e-mail to City Council on this matter.

Bob Lang, CBMCA President

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