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Reunion resident reacts to seniors centre rezoning in neighbourhood

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  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 06:00 am

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Dear Editor,

An open house was set up at Woodside Golf Course Clubhouse by Slokker-West, a developer, to explain, to hear questions and concerns of Reunion residents on the rezoning of a former Hopewell property from a Seniors Residence to a 240-condo complex. A City planning representative, Mark Spence, was also in attendance and seemed to be the spokesperson for the group of developers.

Reunion is located on the northwest corner of Airdrie and houses many young families. Although the demographic is on average 32 years of age; there appeared to be many variations of ages attending the open house.

Residents who attended were not enthused and definitely not satisfied with answers given by the City planning rep or the developers. The reasons were many but in a nutshell these were prevalent:

• A concern for safety of the residents and their children due to an increased traffic flow after the building of the development.

•An increase in noise level and construction traffic on the Main Blvd. in and out of Reunion. Traffic from construction already does not obey the 30 km/h speed limit.

•The promise of a seniors residence, which is desperately needed, but in addition a seniors complex would not yield the traffic nor the population that a 240-unit complex would.

•Increased vandalism in a community already further removed from services and less police presence due to understaffing. Reduction to an extent, of land values and property values in a well-regarded part of the city.

Residents of Reunion attended, voiced their questions and concerns but were sceptical their voices would be taken into account. When one of the developers was asked what he saw as being a positive effect on the community, the best he could come up with was that it would “alleviate a mosquito problem.” As well, he was asked that if the zoning was denied, “what was Plan B?” His reply, “there is no Plan B.” This lead residents to suspect that it did not matter what residents thought, the City planners, the mayor and his council are already in cahoots with the developer.

I am a senior citizen and a resident of Reunion. My husband and I chose to buy in Reunion because of the proposed seniors complex. Now it appears that the City of Airdrie has other plans, moreover an increased tax base, I suspect.

My husband and I urge the residents of Reunion to act on this matter and we also ask the mayor and council to stand by the initial zoning.

Jean McClean, Airdrie


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